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4 Memorable Product Gimmicks of 2011

Coor's Light's Cold Activation Cans

Coors Light's Cold Activation Cans
In the crowded light beer market, brands such as Miller Lite (SAB) and Bud Light generally try to stand out by making outrageous commercials and introducing product gimmicks (just look at Miller Lite's "vortex bottle," which apparently swirls your beer around before it goes in your mouth). Coors Light (TAP) is no different, but all of its marketing efforts are in keeping with the central attribute of the brand: The idea that the beer is really, really cold.

Previous attempts to hammer this point home took the form of the cold-activated can, which featured an image of mountains that turned blue when the contents reached a low enough temperature. But this year the company took things to the next level with a two-stage cold activation can, featuring two color-activated bars indicating when the can was "cold" and "super-cold." The result was a series of commercials, including one where a man assures his girlfriend that he's studying for the "bar exam," only for it to be revealed that he's examining the bars on a can of Coors Light (get it?). The company also introduced the Cold Activation Window -- a beer case with a special window that allows you to peer in and see the cold-activated cans inside.

Given that this latest can design reinforces Coors Light's existing brand perception, it's hard to call it a misstep by the company. Still, the relentless gimmicks have some people rolling their eyes.

"I can't help thinking it's dangerously close to a SNL parody," wrote Steffan Postaer on his blog, Gods of Advertising. "In my view, the brand is jumping the shark."

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