While some may argue that people who work in the advertising industry have long harnessed the power of hot air, a company called Visual Ice, Richmond, Va., is literally using warm air as a catalyst to run ads on store cooler doors. Its client roster includes Heineken USA, which applied the novel shopper marketing tactic to drive sales of Dos Equis beer.
Visual Ice uses nanotechnology to make advertisements appear as frosty images on the glass of cooler doors as they are opened and exposed to warmer temperatures. Hoping to drive impulse purchases among thirsty consumers for "a cold one," Heineken purchased Visual Ice stencil kits and ran advertisements on 1,050 cooler doors in bodegas and grocery stores across the U.S. Brands can buy kits as Heineken did, or participate in monthly or quarterly programs with any grocery, mass merchant and c-store in Visual Ice's 5,000-store network. The cost is roughly $36 per door for a quarterly program.
In the summer campaign, a message that says: "Cerveza XX Dos Equis: Make it a Legendary Party, Stay Thirsty With Friends" appears when a store patron opens the cooler door. The frosty ads can be seen up to 30 feet away and images remain visible several minutes after the door closes.
The company claims a "40% sales lift when Visual Ice is combined with promotional activity at the shelf" and touts 21 million customer impressions each week with a quarterly program at a supermarket chain of 100 stores. Other clients include Ford, Coca-Cola, Nestle, Wal-Mart and DreamWorks. Visual Ice said the ads don't obscure product visibility.
But does Dos Equis want "mas cerveza" (more beer)? Si. While the summer campaign is in its earliest stages, the brand plans to purchase more kits. A Visual Ice sales rep said, "They love it and they're looking to do additional purchases."