Beer company James Ready ignites social media engagement with quirky Direct mail gifts

How a mistake created an opportunity to connect deeper with beer fans

Posted on Aug. 12, 2014 by in Marketing solutions

For years, James Ready had printed messages on the inside of their beer caps to help start conversations in bars between beer drinkers.

In 2010, disaster struck. A printing screw-up meant millions of James Ready Beer caps left the brewery completely blank.

Blank Cap Recall connects one-to-one with customers
To explain to confused what had happened and to apologize, James Ready chose mail. They wrote a letter, which was included with every six-pack sold.

Drinkers who had found blank caps on their beer could mail them back to the company as part of a Blank Cap Recall. In return, the company promised to mail them back “something” as compensation.

James Ready

Eccentric gifts generate surprise and social chatter
Hundreds of thousands of caps were sent in from customers. And what did they get back from James Ready? Plastic dinosaurs. VHS tapes of a classic Blue Jays game. Fun, quirky items that delivered so much surprise and delight, recipients naturally took to social media to share their amusement.

Getting personal gets more love
Where mail really scores is when it’s personal and personalized. In writing to their fans by name and sending each one a unique gift, James Ready started a real one-to-one relationship with their audience that helped create a lot love for the brand.

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