Have you heard of Cool-Ad Handles? BevWire hadn’t either until recently, when I got sent some images about how cooler door handles were being widened and being replaced with advertisements in these widened panels. After getting some more information and research, these handle panels are roughly 4.4″ wide x 14″ long with a protective cover on top to prevent wear and tear. The ad itself are inserts that can be printed from either high quality professional printers or your regular office printer. What will retailers think of these wider handles? Or even more important, how will the shoppers react to a widen handle with an advertisement at the point of purchase? Will these handle advertisements effectively replace cooler clings and the trouble it causes some retailers from switching up the communication?
These Cool-Ad Handles may not completely revolutionize the beverage point-of-purchase, but should come close if adopted by retailers and manufacturers. The old adage is that nearly 70% of purchase decisions are made in-store, so it is paramount to influence the shopper behavior at this point on the buying process. If adopted by retailers, this will allow them to generate more attention to in-store specials or cross-promote with other categories (ie chips, popcorn, and candy to name a few). It may even end up as an additional revenue source, should the retailer want to adjust the communication periodically and provide this as extra advertisements. For manufacturers like Coca-Cola, Pepsi, or Dr Pepper Snapple Group (and the plethora of alcoholic vendors), fitting these handles onto their proprietary gives them dedicated communication for their products in replacement of cooler clings. For both retailers and manufacturers, these communications can vary greatly from the typical in-store promotion: the space can be used to feature nutritional information, environmental sustainability efforts, charitable foundation support and many more.
From a shopper’s perspective, the key point will be whether still obstructs them from getting to their end goal – picking the product from the cooler. That said, the handle itself must be sturdy as they may be trying to pull from the right (strong side) as well as from the left (weak side). Aside from the handle’s strength, these Cool-Ad Handles should not cover the entire product from view. Beverage shoppers that are still “searching” for what drink to purchase may not open the cooler door and then decide on what to buy, so the sale could be at risk if product is hidden by the Cool-Ad handle or any other communication. On a positive note, the communication benefit for the retailer and manufacturer also applies to the shopper. Shoppers would may like to be reminded of cross-promotions with other product categories when they buy a beverage. After all, the beverage aisle and the general snack aisle may not be the same aisle. This may help jog the shopper’s memory to quickly run down the candy aisle to pick up some fuzzy peaches. And who doesn’t like to be reaffirmed that they have made a good purchase decision or supported a good cause? All the better if the communication is reinforcing message that 10% of each bottle’s sale goes to a charitable foundation.
While the Cool-Ad handle may not completely replace the cooler cling, it has opened up a myriad of options to retailers and manufacturers. The cooler cling is still the most reactive component, since it does not have to be placed right at the handle. Rather, the cling itself can be placed higher or lower, to match the product itself behind the cooler door. However, the cooler cling itself may get ignored more often than the Cool-Ad cooler door handle. The shopper has to open the door to get the beverage, so seeing the Cool-Ad handle communication is inevitable.
And while this has only be implemented in the United States so far, there is word for Canadian expansion. Be on the lookout for these handles when you head into your local 7-Eleven or Mac’s Convenience, or your Loblaws or Sobeys grocery store.