Coors Deploys Handheld Game to Bars for Super Bowl Build-up

Coors Light is stationing a team of “brand ambassadors” along with a video game in sports bars and restaurants to help bolster awareness between now and Super Bowl Sunday. On-site reps — armed with Apple iPod Touches — will offer patrons the opportunity to play the game, dubbed “1st and Cold,” while encouraging repeat purchases of the brew.

The promotions are being run in 40 U.S. markets, taking place on Saturdays and Sundays this month during television airtimes for the National Football League’s playoff games. Referring to geographical possibilities, Kedric George, MillerCoors brand manager, said the effort will have a “particular focus on teams advancing into the playoffs in order to maximize program impact. Depending on execution in each market, there could be over 375 promotions in a single weekend.”

The teams remaining in contention for a Super Bowl berth represent the metropolitan areas of Indianapolis, Phoenix, Minneapolis, New York, Baltimore, Dallas, New Orleans, and San Diego.

A slightly different version of the video game will be available for download on iPhones and iPod Touches for an indefinite period extending past the Super Bowl on Feb. 7. That version will only include the Coors Light moniker, while the on-site game also features the NFL and Super Bowl XLIV brands.

George said Coors Light’s ongoing “Super Train” and “Coaches” broadcast TV campaigns would continue to air during the NFL playoffs as the brand ambassadors attempt to engage consumers with the mobile game. He described the month of January as “a key beer selling window, especially for on-premise retailers.”

Milwaukee-based Fullhouse developed the football-based video game, a one-player exercise centered on the goal of driving the ball down a 50-yard field as many times as possible in two minutes. The player gets four downs — resetting if he or she scores — to produce either touchdowns for seven points or field goals for three. Fort Lauderdale, FL-based Team Enterprises will staff the bar and restaurant appearances, where reps will also conduct Super Bowl trivia and Coors-related giveaways.

Players will be encouraged to post their scores on a dedicated Facebook page. “In addition, once a week we [are utilizing] Coors Light status updates regarding the ‘1st and Cold’ application,” George explained. “Traditional advertising continues to be an important part of our marketing plan, but we also use many other ways to reach our consumers, including digital marketing and social media.” Coors Light will not run a TV ad during the Super Bowl — as Anheuser-Busch has category exclusivity.

Several other brands are planning social media endeavors in conjunction with their Super Bowl campaigns, including Volkswagen, which is planning an integrated social media effort “designed to promote conversation and consumer participation, word of mouth, mobile, etc.,” according to a VW spokesperson. The automaker announced Monday it will air a 30-second spot during the third quarter of the game, unveiling a new approach to its “Das Auto” tagline.

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