Free Beer Here! But Only for Certain Passport Holders

PHOTO: A Molson beer fridge, part of a new marketing campaign.

Canadian brewer Molson has stashed fire engine-red refrigerators in public places around Europe. Inside them: free beer.

To get at it, though, you have to prove that you're Canadian by sticking a passport into an electronic reader in the beer fridge's door.

Insert your passport, prove that you're Canadian and, bingo, the door pops open. You and anybody with you (Canadian or not) can enjoy free suds.

The marketing campaign is meant to celebrate the pride of being Canadian, "no matter where you are in the world," Molson Coors spokesman Forest Kenney says.

(Montreal-based Molson merged with Denver-based Coors in 2005.)

A 90-second online video and a 30-second TV spot showcase the exploits of a Molson Canadian Beer Fridge as it pops up in unsuspecting places across Europe, including London, Brussels, rural Belgium and the White Cliffs of Dover.

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There the fridges sit, waiting for unsuspecting Canadians to chance upon them. The video and spot show what follows when that happens: The door pops, a crowd gathers and the celebrants, Canadian or otherwise, toast all things Canadian.

"It makes me homesick, and I've never even been to Canada," one European says.

Tag line: "Here's to being proud of where you're from."

Ad agency Rethink, says Adweek, is responsible for the spot. Adweek calls the whole campaign "a fun idea," adding that it continues a trend toward advertisers' using "installation-based public branding and entertainment stunts."

Other products that have benefitted from that approach, Adweek says, include Coca-Cola, Hot Wheels and Fantastic Delites.

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