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Grolsch leverages beacon-enabled bottle cap to build engagement in movie offer

Dutch beer brand Grolsch aims to build customer engagement with its offer of free movies to customers who link their bottles to smartphones through a bottle-cap Bluetooth beacon.

Grolsch drinkers who tap the bottle cap against a phone can claim a movie from a list. A sticker keeps the beacon from transmitting until the bottle is opened. When the bottle is opened, the beacon is activated and sends a signal to a server with a previously registered serial number. If the signal and the number match, users can digitally unlock a movie of their choice.

The campaign demonstrates the ability of beacons to build engagement and help deliver rewards to consumers. 

?The combination of Bluetooth and smartphones are a win-win for consumers and marketers,? said Yoni Solomon, ?senior coordinator of product marketing at Chicago-based Vibes.

?For consumers, beacons provide a fluid, easy mobile experience that promotes participation. Although manually typing in serial numbers does work ? it acts as another layer of friction that may discourage consumers from engaging. When looking to drive commerce of any kind, the best practice is to create as frictionless an experience as possible ? especially when mobile is involved.?

Seamless interaction
The brewer worked with Russian app developer Heads and Hands on the campaign. The St Petersburg, Russia, technology company?s product will be compatible with any device equipped with next-generation Bluetooth beacon connectivity. 

While beacons promise a significant improvement over first attempts at real-world brand engagements via mobile, there is still a long way to go in enabling seamless interactions.

Enabling real-world engagements with brands is one of mobile?s big promises for marketers but first attempts via tactics such as QR codes lacked clear calls to action or contextual relevancy. More recently, Bluetooth-enabled beacons and image recognition hold out the promise of better user experiences but challenges still remain.

Many of the early examples of leveraging mobile to enable real-world engagements lacked any real value for consumers.

For example, a QR code that directs the phone?s browser to a company?s Web site or a TV spot does not have a true benefit for the consumer.

However, these experiences helped brands better understand how users were actually leveraging the space so they could refine their approaches

Way of the future
Campaigns like Grolsch?s are seen being used increasingly in the future with other products or markets.

Grolsch movie giveaway logo.

?What excites me about the combination of beacons and smartphones is that it streamlines the mobile experience and makes it easy,? Mr. Solomon said.

?When engagement is made as easy as simply tapping a bottle cap with your phone, you're essentially turning the smartphone into a universal key to the digital world around you.? 

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter with Mobile Marketer, New York.