Coors Light Super Bowl Promo Leverages SnapTags

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MillerCoors' Coors Light is leveraging SnapTag technology to enable customized regional promotions as extensions of a national, sweepstakes-driven Super Bowl XLV campaign.  

The brand is employing the mobile image recognition technology to achieve multiple, simultaneous objectives, according to Ryan Lindholm, client partner at Razorfish, Coors Light's digital agency.

These include consistent point-of-purchase brand image exposure on a national level, scalable yet targeted reach within an interactive, relationship-building context; and the ability to enable distributors and retailers to connect with their customers via region-specific promotions and offers.

The SnapTag consists of the Coors Light logo encircled or ringed by a code (a "ring code") that determines whether the participant will be offered an entry in the brand's national "Snap, Send, Score" sweepstakes or messaging relating to one of 11 regional promotions.

The campaign is a major component of Coors Light's marketing strategy around its Super Bowl XLV and NFL sponsorships.

The national sweeps, which uses the tagline "You Could Score the Unthinkable" -- meaning win "insider access" to the Super Bowl beyond fans' wildest dreams -- features a grand prize of a trip for four (winner plus guests) to the Super Bowl, attendance at the brand's Super Bowl party and other prizes/perks. Two first-prize winners will receive game trips for themselves and one guest, party admission and other prizes/perks. Additional prizes include a champion-autographed football, items used during the game, official NFL and Super Bowl gear, flat-screen TVs and NFLShop.com gift cards.

"As the official beer of the NFL and the Super Bowl, we're bringing fans closer to the game than they ever imagined possible by taking insider access to a whole new level," said Rick Gomez, VP of marketing for the Coors family of brands, in the promotion's announcement.

Now through game day -- Feb. 6 -- people of legal drinking age can use any mobile phone with a camera to snap photos of the Coors Light SnapTag on specially marked boxes of Coors Light and Coors Banquet or on promotional materials and ads, and send the images to a designated text code or email address. In line with standard alcoholic beverage marketing requirements, they then receive a message asking them to verify their age and provide state information.

Upon verification, those who have snapped tags that are on the Coors packaging or in the media for the national campaign -- which include point-of-purchase (POP) materials, out-of-home ads (bus shelters, for example), ads on NFL.com and a tab on the brand's Facebook page that offers a video along with the SnapTag -- are entered in the national sweeps. (They can also enter the sweeps through a site-based entry form.)

People who have snapped tags that are on in-store or other promotional materials/advertising produced for the regional markets receive messaging/promotions specific to that region's program.

Those who have interacted with a regional promotion will, after a period of a week or two, also receive messaging offering the opportunity to enter the national sweepstakes. The lag will ensure that national efforts are not intrusive on regional efforts and that the brand does not "over-communicate" with people, says Lindholm.

"We want to be sure that consumers are participating as they want to" -- that the consumer's own choices regarding engaging with the brand trigger not only the initial national or regional promotion response from the brand, but any subsequent engagement, Lindholm stresses. If consumers choose, via opt-in, to continuing engaging, "the cycle continues," he says.

While Miller Coors could have achieved its dual national/regional objectives by using a texting platform not based on image recognition, image recognition technology offered critical speed-of-execution and cost advantages, explains Lindholm. Coordination activities with regional markets were streamlined and time-compressed, and the printing of region-specific promotional materials could be accomplished through simple on-press plate changes to incorporate their respective regional ring codes, rather than requiring costly and time-intensive, one-off press runs for each market, he points out.

"The needs of our consumers and distributors are always changing," so speed-to-market as well as mass-market scalability were essential requirements for the campaign, stresses Lindholm.

One key reason for selecting the SnapTag technology rather than a QR code/2D barcode platform or other image recognition platform was its ability to interface with any mobile phone with a camera (no app downloading or smartphone operating system required), reports Lindholm. Since 80% of all cell phones in North America have cameras, the paramount prerequisite of sufficiently scalable consumer reach was met, he explains. "Basically, it made it viable to risk using an emerging technology" for a major national campaign for the brand, he adds.

At the same time, using a mobile-phone platform is made to order for reaching Coors Light's core 21-to-29 target audience, given that smartphone owners -- who are growing rapidly, but still represent 22.5% of the U.S. mobile market, according to July 2010 ComScore data -- skew to the 25-to-34 age demographic (as well as to males, although the gender gap is closing).

Another MillerCoors brand, craft beer Colorado Native Lager, was the first brand to use SnapTags on packaging (in a spring 2010 campaign), although major brands such as Ford, Unilever and Crayola had used them on displays and ads.

The Coors Light campaign represents the largest rollout of SnapTag use for POP materials to date, as well as one of the "most robust" campaigns to date in terms of use of regional targeting capabilities, reports Jane McPherson, CMO at SpyderLynk, creators/owners of the SnapTag technology. Coors Light worked with SpyderLynk and Razorfish to develop the customized SnapTag program for the Super Bowl campaign.

In the end, of course, it's all about engaging interactively and building brand relationships with people. This campaign will provide Coors Light with a wealth of data about how people use the snap-and-send capability to interact with the brand initially and how the relationship can be optimized thereafter, says Lindholm. "This is a very important program for [Coors Light]," both for the year ahead and beyond, he says.

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