Tag Archives: Coors Light

Friday’s 4-1-1, What’s Coors Light Doing Style?

Coors Light Instore Display

I really didn’t know what to make of this when I saw it. I was in a rush and I caught a glimpse of something familiar on my way out the convenience store door (and it wasn’t the girl!) That tag.


The same thing that Bud Light just used?

I mean, I can see the value of using code and/or image recognition on your packaging to drive a deeper experience, but I find it interesting that Coors Light chose to do the same exact thing their biggest competitor – Bud Light – chose to do only a few months ago.

I stood for a split second in disbelief – the others in the store thought I was just staring at the display – then, I took a photo and went on my very way. I thought it was such a blatant rip-off that I didn’t want to snap the tag on the box or have anything to do with Coors Light, but the next time I found myself in a grocery store, I had to stop by the beer and see what it was all about.

Coors Light Snap Tag Box

I got a text message back, directing me to a site, and an option to receive more texts. So, now I’m in their communication stream. We’ll see what happens.

I thought I’d spend today’s Friday 4-1-1 reflecting a little deeper on this experience – because there are solid components here – instead of instantly shutting them off since I’d seen this before.

1. On the surface, all codes are created equal – the one thing that is different between all of the image and code-scanning technologies is whether or not you need a special app on your phone to engage with it. And really, you just need the app to read the image (i.e. Google Goggles) or code (i.e. QR code/MS Tag). They all open the door to the same content. I’ve found these image recognition technologies (SnapTag and JagTag) need a couple more clicks to access the content, but to me, it’s not an inconvenience in the experience. Question for Coors Light is why use the same exact technology (SnapTag) that Bud Light just used? I doubt there was such a huge wave of success from Bud Light’s campaign that they felt they needed to ride it?? I would have picked another one. Because they all do the same thing.

2. Codes are a key to unlocking multi-channel experiences – from the scan, I get instant access to:

  • .com (digital)
  • Facebook, Twitter (social)
  • iPhone game app (mobile)
  • Plus rich content like videos and sharable memes – the Ditka Cold Call to your friends is my favorite.
  • And I’m in their communication stream via text message.

See the power of codes? More and more, marketers are realizing this low-cost technology can enable deeper brand experiences. And big brands like this don’t need to create special content for these extended experiences. They just need to drive people there.

Welcome the code. I just would have picked another one.

3. Do consumers care? – Consumers want value and ease. These codes have the potential to provide value by unlocking deeper content, be it more brand content or coupons, and some of them are easier to use than others. These SnapTags don’t require a smartphone or an app, they just require an awareness and desire from the consumer to interact with them. So, you can’t get any easier than it already is. I would just love to know how successful these are. Anyone know the “snap rate” for the Bud Light or Coors Light campaigns?

I would still recommend tags in addition to/replacement of URLs in a lot of cases because they provide instant access to the content, typically with only one click. It’s really more about consumer adoption at this point.

4. OOH has a definite place in the ecosystem – and more than that, has a definite place in code-based campaign ecosystems. And the OOH component doesn’t have to be “digital.” As we see here, with this static in-store display, they’re stopping consumers and making them aware. I think anyone who’s considering implementing a campaign like this should take note of the simple solutions used here. You can’t get any more lowfi, but in my opinion, it’s incredibly effective .

“Uh-huh” – so, if 2 major beer makers are using technologies like this, will all the others? I think it’s only a good thing – whether or not I agree with Coors Light’s choice – for these sorts of technologies that such big brands are using them. They enable a more focused, purposeful OOH component, and I think agencies will have more and more opportunities to show off creative executions in bringing these technologies to life. What we’ll see, I think, is a different way of thinking about “traditional OOH.”

“Duh” – I just don’t get the decision here. In fairness, I’m not involved in any of the brand/agency conversations, but you’d think someone would have raised this and really questioned using the same code technology. I think, more than anything, this shows how wide-open this space (code/image scanning) is, with no clear leader. And consumers haven’t tipped to one technology over another. There’s still a lot of experimentation going on.

At the heart, this is another good example of a multi-channel brand experience (and a pretty deep one at that). And for me, it all started with an OOH component.

It shows how important it is to stop people when they’re out and about and engage them in some way. Here it was through the image-scanning technology.

I just would have picked another one.

The Coaster That Doesn’t Miss an Opportunity

I’ve been meaning to get around to this since my vacation in July, but I’m just finding the time.  I’m always looking for examples of brands utilizing offline materials (places & things) to drive deeper engagement “online” (not necessarily on a computer).  I’m most fascinated when this online experience occurs on something other than a standard computer screen (ie. the places and things around us).  Mobile, however, has really changed the game.  This offline/online convergence doesn’t always drive experiences back to the world wide web; as mobile shows us, this convergence is often enabled through apps and simple tools like SMS/MMS.  So, it was in July, when my wife and I were sitting in a bar in St. Augustine, and I looked down at the coaster sitting on our table.

Mobile promotions like this are standard fare.  So standard, in fact, they might be overlooked more often than not.  We can debate the effectiveness of coasters like this driving conversions (opt-ins), but here’s the thing – this is such a “no duh” utilization of pieces like this in the brand’s advertising mix.  Coors Light is going to print coasters regardless.  Why not plan to print something that drives a deeper brand engagement on the coaster vs. just putting a logo and artwork on it?  Same thing can be said for posters or magazine ads.  How many posters do you see that enable you to have a deeper brand experience beyond the “paper”?  Magazine ads?  Not many.

I have been surprised at how many magazine ads I’ve seen this year (some featured on this blog) where brands have experimented with things like QR codes/MS Tags, JagTags/etc..  And while I still don’t know how effective they are (I don’t see many brands paying it off that well), I have to give them credit for at least opening up the gate to go deeper into the brand.  That’s what I mean by mobile changing the “OOH” game.  Brands don’t need a “digital” origination point to drive interactivity.  Out of Home initiatives, whether traditional or digital, can always be made interactive, in large part due to mobile capabilities.

In the end, it’s important to understand that all of the “channels” (Out of Home being one of them, coasters being a delivery mechanism for OOH) in a brand’s advertising mix are just part of their ecosystem.  The brand’s challenge (and agency’s partnering with them) is to make sure their story is a) consistent and b) evolving across all of the channels and mediums.  Often times, initiatives are developed, implemented, and activated in silos – OOH, DOOH falls within their own silo – and regardless of how big or neat or (even) effective they are, if they’re only happening in 1 silo, many opportunities are missed.  So, next time you see something as simple as a coaster or a poster or a magazine ad that capitalizes on the opportunity to drive you deeper into the brand, take a minute and go through the experience.  Try not to judge the experience, just appreciate the fact that they’re not missing an additional opportunity to take you, as a consumer, deeper into their brand via this standard-fare, see-it-everyday, ho-hum, gotta-advertise-on-it-anyway gateway.