Creativity in Beer Bottles

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A two-year development resulted in fast changes on labels in sunlight, which can offer now repeatability to turn “on and off” and providing a broad colour spectrum along with durability in the sun.

Sun powered labels
Chromatic Technologies introduced its Sunlight Inks (photochromic) for such applications as paper, film and pressure-sensitive labels. Sunlight Inks are a breakthrough in chemistry that now offer the first photochromic inks that provide (1) fast kinetics which turn on rapidly when sunlight hits it, (2) repeatability which enables the ink to turn ‘on and off’ forever, (3) a broad colour spectrum, as well as (4) durability in the sun.

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Sunlight Inks create ‘theatre-in-the hand’ for a brand’s audience: a consumer walks outside and, in seconds, the Sunlight Inks transform from clear to a colourful reminder to apply sun tan lotion, or several garnishes recommendations appear for cocktails, or a surfboard is revealed with a secret code for a mobile app.

Sunlight Inks can be applied to a label itself or the packaging container.

We stay in the inter-active area with Grolsch beer bottles, incorporating the “Movie Unlocker”.

The “Movie Unlocker”
Using electronics in beer bottles is not new. Some time ago I wrote about the flashing Heineken bottle. Lighting a bottle in the dark seems to be the only activity implemented in bottles.

The Heineken Ignite bottle introduced at Milanese ‘Lounge of the Future’ incorporated micro sensors and wireless networking to detect when drinkers say ‘Cheers’ and activates 8 LED lights, it sparks when they take a sip, and the lights ‘dance’ in response to a DJ’s musical cues. The bottle is able to interact with other Ignite bottles, its environment and people, “bringing together interaction, data and networking thinking”.

Grolsch Beer, however, is clearly going a step further, when the presented in Russia the “Movie Unlocker” bottle that allows to watch films online for free.

Anna Rudenko wrote on Popsop an article about the bottle, which I will use here.

The Grolsch beer bottle has a special embedded device, which accepts radio signals and transmits them from the Bluetooth beacon under the bottle top directly to the device a person wants to watch a (free) movie on.
The bottle works as a transmitter of the signal, and to prevent premature activation of the process when the bottle is capped, there’s a special sticker that blocks the radio frequency so that it can’t be identified by the device unless a consumer allows. The activation happens when a person touches the device with the bottle.
The application, dubbed “Movie Unlocker”, was developed by “Heads and Hands” in St. Petersburg.

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The Grolsch bottles feature special codes that get scanned immediately via Bluetooth. It sends a signal to a server that has a previously registered serial number. After the verification is complete (this happens if the code in the bottle and a number in the database match), a user can enjoy a free movie. Now, consumers don’t need to pay with their credit card, they can pay with regular beer bottles.

“We were aware of a current campaign being carried out in Russia by Grolsch, that allows consumers to enter promotional codes found on its bottles in to its partners’ websites,” commented Aleksandr Semenov, CEO of Heads and Hands.
“This enables people to access a movie for free. We liked this idea, but thought we could make the process a whole lot easier. So, we developed this new ‘one-touch’ technology for the bottles in order to facilitate the transaction in a single step.”
The online cinema is available at

To make my life easier to publish a next article about gender-neutral packaging, we end this article with a simple beer: “Chick Beer”.

Chick Beer
To be honest there isn’t much to tell about Chick Beer in terms of packaging technology, and that leaves us with the marketing approach of the “female beer”.
As I don’t know very much about marketing, I took the lead from an old article by Hanna Brooks Olsen.

She writes about “Chick Beer” the following:
Aside from the diminutive name “Chick”, which has fallen out of fashion almost entirely and shows no signs of being reclaimed by women a la “bitch”, there’s plenty to dislike about the marketing of this cutesy six-pack. In her interview, the (female) creator of the brew, Shazz Lewis, describes her desire to package the product in ways that would be iconically female, with a little black dress, a purse, and a pink-and-black colour scheme. Unfortunately, her attempt to nail this look is woefully unattractive, featuring an outdated typeface, and an illustration that’s a little more 1990s Barbie than Audrey Hepburn. Additionally, the beer, which is labelled as “light,” doesn’t offer what health conscious women look for: a calorie or carbohydrate count on the front of the packaging.

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“Chick Beer” is described on the website as being “soft and smooth” and “lightly carbonated for less of that bloaty feeling” feels gimmicky, as if someone is trying to pull the pink wool over the collective females’ eyes and trick them into liking beer.

Marketing existing beers, whether micro or macro, to women isn’t innately a bad idea. Plenty of women do drink regular (or is it “male”?) beer. Making a specific product just for ladies, who love to go to purse parties and gals nights out, feels misguided, rather than empowering.
And herewith ended Hanna Olsen her review of the Chick Beer six-pack.

I don’t need to add a word, only that Hanna’s review is a perfect shot for my next article about the idiocy of gender-neutral packaging.

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