The humble aluminium drinks receptacle we take for granted today has come a long way since the very first ‘punch top’ beer was downed in 1935.
Now, with around 475 billion canned goods on the market each year, and technology offering up a plethora of new ways to connect, marketers are looking for smart new ways to extend the marketing potential of their most ‘hands-on’ item - the product itself.
We’ve noticed a rush of practical can based promotions of late, ranging from quirky delivery methods right through to innovative secondary functions from the normally throwaway objects.
Here are some of our recent favourites from across the globe…
Brazil: Antarctica – Beer Turnstile
An interesting concept, emanating out of Brazil from the Antarctica brand, injected a smart secondary usage into empty beer cans – converting them from a post festival clear up challenge into a type of currency.
The promotion, tied to the brand’s wider work surrounding the Rio Carnival, had a positive CSR approach and also a neat sustainability angle, as it actively encouraged festival goers to recycle cans and take public transport rather then attempt to drive. All without damping the spirit of the festival, the associated revelery or pushing hard line messaging.
Special turnstiles were placed in subway stations that enabled passengers to pay for their homebound travel using empty cans in place of tickets. Around 1000 festival goers per hour passed through the turnstiles, upping travel by 86% and, most importantly, sending drink-driving arrests plummeting by a whopping 43%.
South Africa: Windhoek - Beer Drone Delivery
Following in the footsteps of the drone delivered Pizza, WindHoek beer is utilising Octocopters - military based remote controlled micro-aircraft - to deliver refreshment to festival fans at the somewhat cut off from civilisation Oppikoppi Festival in South Africa.
Windhoek, which sponsors the festival held in the Limpopo Province, will fly in much needed refreshment to parched festival fans that utilise a specially created app, dropping a beer within one square metre of their GPS location.
The free cans will be parachute dropped into the District 9 campsite (as opposed to in the middle of a DJ set and a throng of fans) in order to avoid the potential chaos that could ensue.
A smart, low cost PR stunt that capitalises on the festival’s remote bush location and detachment from more traditional festival culture.
Brazil: Gladiator Energy - USB Can
The Gladiator Energy drink brand has converted its metallic packaging into a storage device, giving it a second lease of life beyond its initial usage. Not so much a USB or flash drive in the traditional sense, but more a digital cloud storage facilitator, the concept encourages purchasers to scan an on pack code to upload documents that can be remotely access from another computer.
The promotion forms part of the Brazilian drink’s ‘Office Heroes’ campaign, which sees the brand helping workers combat simple dally battles, above and beyond lethargy.
Although arguably a somewhat cumbersome way to store files it does highlight the possibility for products to provide something useful after their initial consumption. Plus, something the size of an energy drink can is far less likely to get lost en route.
Singapore: Coca-Cola - Sharing Can
Here’s a 'so simple it's hard to believe it hasn't been done before' type promotion from the world's most popular soft drink.
The ‘Shared Can’ – a simple twist apart two piece can – made its debut earlier this year in Singapore as part of the wider ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, bringing the brand’s concept of shared happiness directly to its core product.
The beauty here is in the design, which fully replicates a standard 330 ml can but manages to deliver two equal halves for two friends to share. Proving that its often the simplest ideas that work best, this concept not only hones right in on the brand’s core messaging, it also delivers something genuinely innovative - not to mention intuitive and user friendly – for consumers.