You can drink but you can’t hide

In its latest promotion, Coors Light has ventured where no other beer manufacturer has gone before, by installing an electronic tracking device into its bottles.

In its latest promotion, Coors Light has ventured where no other beer manufacturer has gone before, by installing an electronic tracking device into its bottles.

The device, operated by Global Positioning System (GPS) technology, has been fitted into three bottles in packs of Coors Light currently on sale in Quebec. The Coors Light Tracker Bottle is activated when the cap is twisted off, enabling a tracker team to locate the winners via satellite.

‘The brewing industry is a very competitive environment and we’re constantly searching for a promotion that will stand out and attract the attention of the consumer,’ says Denis Ferlatte, Coors Light brand manager. ‘As far as we are aware, this is the first time that this technology has been used in the beer industry.’

‘We are anxiously waiting for the first phone call,’ he continues. ‘The team is on hand, ready to go out and track down the first winner.’

The promotion, which started on July 16, is a joint effort with Quebec TV channel MusiquePlus, so the process of tracking down the winners will be aired live on TV. Viewers can tune in to watch everything from the moment the team sets out to find the winner until the moment they ring on the doorbell to award the grand prize – an all-expense paid trip for two to Los Angeles.

‘It is the first time we have done a promotion with MusiquePlus in Quebec,’ says Ferlatte. ‘The two brands connect really well because we have the same target consumers – adults under the age of 29 who enjoy having fun.’ The tracker team is made up of MusiquePlus and Coors Light staffers.

Toronto-based agency Marketing Drive Canada developed the tracker bottle concept on behalf of Coors Light, and also spearheaded the campaign surrounding the promotion.

Stacia Morris, account supervisor at the agency says, ‘A lot of traditional contests are very impersonal, but this idea makes the whole presentation of prizes very dramatic, and brings it to life for all the people watching on TV.’

Coors Light has also launched a contest to give away secondary prizes via the MusiquePlus Web site ( Participants have to search the site to find two hidden Coors Light bottles, and can enter to win a kit filled with Coors Light gadgets. One kit will be given away every week throughout the promotion, which ends on September 28. All participants will be entered in a grand prize draw for a Coors Light silver sofa, to be held on September 4.

TV ads to support the campaign were launched in Quebec on July 23, with both French and English versions.

The spot starts with a young man opening a bottle of Coors. The viewer is then given the sensation of riding on one of the waves that comes out of the bottle, and disappearing up to a satellite. This is followed by the image of a carrier crow delivering a prize.

Ferlatte explains: ‘The aim of the ads is really to explain the amazing state-of-the-art technology behind this promotion, and to build up general excitement to encourage consumers to buy the bottles.

‘It is also important to make sure people know what’s happening so they don’t throw the bottles away before we track them down,’ he adds.

The promotion seems to be paying off – Ferlatte says that early results show a substantial increase in Coors Light sales in Quebec since the launch.

‘If this promotion is successful we will have a very close look at repeating it next year,’ he says.

BTA attracts wannabe movie moguls

The British Tourist Authority (BTA) has launched an international competition to boost the flagging tourism industry in Britain. Canadians have the chance to fly across the Atlantic on an expenses-paid trip, to direct, film and present their own video about travelling in the British Isles.

‘The idea came about in response to the recent foot and mouth crisis in Britain,’ says Val Schroder, press and PR manager at the BTA in Toronto. ‘Tourism has suffered enormously as a result, so this idea is intended as a recovery exercise for the most effected markets.’

The promotion invites Canadians to submit their plan for an ideal holiday in Britain via the Web site, competition.htm.

The winning pair, to be selected by the BTA and film experts in London, will fly to Britain for a week of filming at the end of August. Films are required to include a combination of city life, and the countryside, in addition to elements of British culture and heritage.

Schroder says that the promotion is also intended as a database-building exercise for the BTA. ‘We are building up our relationship marketing abilities,’ she says.

In addition to running in Canada, the competition is also being set up in the U.S., Germany, France, Ireland, Netherlands and Belgium. A pair of winners will be selected from each country.