Oskar Blues Brewery ran a mobile promotion that saw 66% of campaign traffic come from "smart" coasters embedded with Thinfilm technology, per a news release. Users could tap the coasters with a mobile device which, using near-field communications (NFC), would then open a behind-the-scenes video showing more information about the company's beer.
The brewery distributed 200,000 coasters in bars and restaurants to promote Dale's Pale Ale Draft Can and to celebrate its 15th anniversary, The coaster campaign resulted in 4.5x more time spent at its website than from other marketing channels, and 60% returned to the Oskar Blues website at least one additional time, Thinfilm said in a case study. The effort generated a 1.97% average click-through rate (CTR) campaign-wide and a 11.76% CTR on its best-performing box of coasters at a net cost of $1.25 per user.
The brewery primarily wanted to promote brand awareness. It said the high engagement rates generated by the Thinfilm smart coasters means it can deliver a more immersive mobile experience in future campaigns that engages consumers for longer periods.
Oskar Blues's campaign with Thinfilm smart coasters demonstrates how marketers can deploy NFC to reach customers at the point of sale in bars and restaurants, where many people interact with their smartphones as much as their immediate surroundings. The microbrewery industry has grown very crowded, with a majority of bars in major cities offering between 25 to 100 different beer brands, according to a 2015 study provided by Thinfilm. That makes the marketing environment highly competitive and demanding of innovation to stand out.
In addition, many bar patrons prefer to order their beers on tap, adding to the challenge that craft beer brands face in trying to promote their bottled or canned products — a key objective for Oskar Blues Brewery. About two-thirds (61%) of beer orders are for draft servings, per a study this year by Bevspot. Draft orders tend to be higher for craft beers like Harpoon, Ballast Point and Lagunitas, and for European brands like Guinness and Stella Artois.
Thinfilm also recently helped on a campaign for Spanish wine brand Barbadillo that was focused on the retail point of sale. The winery packaged 126,000 bottles with a paper collar embedded with Thinfilm's SpeedTap tags that integrated the label with branded mobile content. The tags spurred 10x higher traffic and 2.8x greater average time spent interacting with consumers than through its previous social media efforts alone, Thinfilm said.