Posts tagged with: advertising

Grolsch gets personal with your mobile message

Note: I updated this piece on after realising the experience works for everyone – not just people who’ve previously registered on the Grolsch website.

The beer might not stand out from the crowd, but Grolsch has created a clever experience which links email, online video and text messaging.

The campaign centres around a fictional policeman, Journt, who’s giving away packs of Grolsch. It’s not entirely clear why the cops would be handing out free booze, but let’s not dwell on that for now.

To explain further, the firm sent an email to people who’d previously registered on its website:

“To enter the prize draw visit our new website and meet Journt. If Journt knows your name, he will give you some free Grolsch! Simply visit to find out more…”

The clever bit comes when you click through the Grolsch website. A short video plays showing the mysterious Journt sat at a bar. He invites you to text your name to the number shown on his business card:

Journt's business card

If you’re anything like me, you’ll be nervous about whipping out your smart phone and texting your name to this Journt character. I’m wary of giving my mobile details to companies because spam text messages bug me.

But if you do take the plunge and send your name, within a matter of seconds, some nifty computer code has received your message and displayed it beautifully in the video window. The result is that you see Journt reading your message:

Grolsch text message

I’ve not seen SMS and web technology joined up quite like this before, and I’m impressed. There’s a definite moment of surprise when your message pops up on screen, particularly as it’s such a fast, smooth, polished experience.

As a nice conclusion to the experience, Journt taps out a message on his phone – which then arrives on your handset a few seconds later. If you’re lucky, he’ll tell you that you’ve won some free beer.

It hasn’t got me gasping for a Grolsch (I’m more likely to enjoy a Meantime Wheat Beer or similar), but it’s certainly raised the brand’s prominence in my mind. As a campaign to boost awareness of Grolsch, it works well.

The most misleading banner ad ever?

If you’re looking for a decent, free image editing tool, but don’t need the expense of Photoshop or the complexity of GIMP, I can highly recommend Paint.NET.

However, if you plan on downloading this free software, stay sharp when you’re on the Paint.NET website. Because the link to download isn’t quite as obvious as it seems:

Download link

That big ‘DOWNLOAD’ button with the huge green arrow that drags your eyes in and won’t let go? That’s not it.

It is, in fact, an advert. It takes you to, a site offering ‘the ultimate search tool’ – as far as I can tell, a toolbar you can download and use in your web browser.

I can’t find much other information about the company, apart from this complaint from someone who had the ad appear unexpectedly on their own website. So my advice would be to steer clear.

Oh, the actual download link? It’s up the top there, just beneath the logo:

Paint.NET download link

It’s not hard to see how SearchAle benefits from this advertising. I’m sure there are more people using its toolbar then there would have been otherwise.

I just wonder how many of those people actually wanted it, or even understood what they were downloading.