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Team Canada beer fridge: Free beer at Sochi, electronic passport tech a success

Beer fridge at Sochi full off free beer
Beer fridge at Sochi full off free beer
Twitter, FastCoCreate

A Team Canada beer fridge has booze lovers at Sochi able to really enjoy the Winter Olympics this week with a comforting taste from back home. Molson, a well-known beer company, has had a specialty red beer fridge shipped directly to the Olympic House in Sochi at Team Canada’s site, and it is chock full of bottles of fresh, free beer. ABC News reports this Tuesday, Feb. 11, 2014, that the beer isn’t easy to access for just anybody, however, as a Canadian passport is necessary to open the machine.

The Team Canada beer fridge was only recently installed, but it has already proved to be a massive success for Canadians away in Sochi at the Olympic Games this week. Stocked with a plentiful amount of ice-cold beer, the red fridge might just be the very best gift that Canada has given to their home team.

It seems the electronic passport reader installed into the machine has been an effective bit of tech, being compared to passport readers frequently used at international airports. The technology is said to only provide a beer to those passports that feature the Canadian government seal and specially stamped “Canada” on the passport.

Once you successfully prove that you are indeed Canadian (or at least one of your companions), the Team Canada beer fridge will open itself and present you with a fresh, free beer. Of course, the beer will be a Molson, from the company sponsoring the popular dispensary item. Molson is based in local Montreal, and merged with Coors several years back in 2005.

“The electronic passport tech aside, the press release adds that the red retro-style beer fridge has in fact become a traditional image of a Molson throughout Canada, notes Aaron Starkman, a partner and creative director at the ad agency ReThink, which is locatd in Toronto.”

While the beer fridge may be very much appreciated by those in Sochi, it’s equally good for Molson as well, serving as an ideal marketing strategy that was in fact part of a campaign thought out months in advance. That marketing strategy has turned out to be a big success.

“It was always part of the plan to send the fridge to Sochi … The notion was... and I think this is true with Americans as well for us, that the further you are away from the home the more Canadian you feel," Starkman said. "We wanted to just have an icon to remind people of Canada and to have a taste of home when they are so far away."

With the Team Canada beer fridge expected to be restocked for the majority of the Olympic Games, it seems Canadians and their friends will not be in want of a fresh drink throughout the competition.

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