How the NFL & Facebook build the Coors Light Brand

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For Coors Light, winning the hearts and minds of men aged 21-34 means serving up a different kind of brew that combines the excitement of the NFL and the reach of Facebook. The official beer of the NFL has worked with my employer Razorfish to launch its first-ever Coors Light Football page. In my view, Coors Light Football demonstrates the increasingly sophisticated ways that companies are using Facebook to create an experience that builds their brands. Among the features of the new page:

  • Silver Bullet Pick ‘Em. Football fans accumulate points by predicting weekly game winners. And in the social tradition of Facebook, they can challenge their friends to top their scores. On a weekly basis, Coors Light rewards $100 gift certificates to participants, which can be used to purchase Coors Light merchandise. Gamers are also eligible to win a home entertainment center.
  • Coach’s Cold Call. Type your friends’ phone numbers into this application, and the next time they pick up their phones, the gravelly voice of Mike Ditka will be on the line telling them to drop what they’re doing and grab a Coors Light. (And yes Coach Ditka worked with Razorfish to patiently record voice-overs customized for different names.)
  • Bobble-Nator. Capturing the nostalgic value of the Bobble Head doll, the Bobble-Nator makes it possible for you to create a Bobble Head of yourself and use it as your Facebook profile picture. And I think it takes a lot of courage to do that unless your name happens to be Tom Brady.

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Coors Light Football continues a Coors Light/Razorfish collaboration that has built the Coors Light brand in association with the NFL. As reported recently in the Charlotte Business Journal, during the 2009 NFL season Razorfish launched the Coors Light NFL digital campaign, which featured Coors Light-sponsored content on digital properties such as ESPN.com, FoxSports.com, and NFL.com. As part of the campaign, Razorfish created a tool that fantasy football fans could use to analyze potential trades. Throughout the course of the campaign, the Coors Light Facebook page doubled its fan base, and people spent an average of 3 minutes per visit on the Coors Light mobile site.

With its latest effort, Coors Light shows how leading brands are upping the stakes for having a presence on Facebook. In a recent report, “How to Create an Effective Brand Presence on Facebook,” Forrester Research analyst Melissa Parrish notes that accumulating 100,000+ fans is just table stakes for succeeding on Facebook. Melissa points out that creating engaging content is among the other essential must-haves for extending one’s brand to Facebook. That’s what companies like Coors Light and Mercedes-Benz are doing with the use of rich media, while other brands like IKEA have employed Facebook to offer creative, smart promotions.

In “The 8 Success Criteria for Facebook Page Marketing,” Jeremiah Owyang of Altimeter Group mentions the importance of providing a cohesive brand, for instance by creating custom applications or tabs that resonate with one’s brand. Coors Light Football is linked to the official Coors Light Facebook page in order to benefit from the natural traffic generated by the nearly 400,000 people who are fans of the Coors Light page. The Facebook page also cross-links to the Coors Light website via a Silver Ticket contest through which you can win tickets to NFL games. Moreover the Coors Light website promotes the Facebook page (Razorfish advocates this tight integration rather than completely handing over one’s brand to a third-party cloud site).

I hope you’ll check out the new page and let me know what you think of it. Now are you ready for some football?

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