James Ready barters with beer caps

Aimed at six key university markets, the beer maker offers students a chance to trade in their beer caps during pub events for everyday 'life' items.

Starting today, James Ready beer is encouraging students in six Ontario cities to exchange their JR beer caps for student-life essentials at in-bar promotional events.

Conceived by Arc Worldwide, a division of Leo Burnett, and activated by Toronto-based Campus Intercept, the campaign targets James Ready’s main market: students. At each event, participants are invited to play games, such as ring toss or beer pong, and win James Ready beer caps. They can then barter their winnings for products integral to campus life, such as laundry detergent or deodorant, which are ‘sold’ at a table in the pub.

The events start today at a pub in St. Catharines and will be carried out similarly in student-friendly pubs in London, Windsor, Waterloo, Kingston and Hamilton. Each stop is hosted by a Campus Intercept-hired ‘campus ambassador,’ who is also charged with marketing the campaign locally via posters, Facebook and door-hangers in key student-housing areas of each city. The campaign runs until Oct. 19.

The goal was to create a campaign that fit the brand’s cheeky, student-friendly image and its theme of giving back to the students who have supported the brand since it launched, Andrew Au, president of Campus Intercept, tells MiC. The beer caps were an ideal medium, he says, because they are central to the brand’s image, featuring fun quotes on every cap.

‘The premise was that for the past three years, James Ready has had a loyal consumer base comprised of students and they want to give back to students,’ he says. ‘They know that students’ budgets are tight and if they had it their way, they would spend all their money on beer, not boring things like toilet paper. So the goal was, how can we let them do both?’