Soda bottle caps have long held campaigns to win prizes or help others through various programs. Now, beer bottle caps are horning in on soda's territory with the latest campaign by MillerCoors.
In July, the company launched a new nationwide campaign, "Bottle Caps for Military Vets." Now through Sept. 30, if a consumer purchases a MillerCoors High Life beer and donates their bottle cap or keg tab, the company donates 10 cents toward each cap or tab. The company's overall goal is to reach $1 million.
The money raised will assist returning Iraq and Afghanistan military veterans with having a "High Life Experience." These experiences could range from helping a veteran's family pay bills to buying concert or game tickets of their choice.
"It's a common beer for common sense, and it makes sense to give back," said Daniel Cutliff, District Sales Manager for MillerCoors in Eastern Oklahoma. "Having consumers collect caps or pull tabs gets them involved."
As a way of embracing and recognizing returning troops, MillerCoors started "Bottle Caps for Military Vets," which is the first one of its kind.
"We've done different things to reward vets," Cutliff said. "(But) instead of a point-of-sale, (we said) let's do something to get involved."
Tulsans have definitely stepped up in more ways than one to get involved with this campaign.
Bar owner Donnie Gendron jumped aboard the campaign when he was approached by MillerCoors about it.
"As soon as they told me (about the campaign), we switched from Bud Lime to Coors," Gendron said. "I'm always for the guys (and) supporting the guys."
Gendron served in the U.S. army for five years, including a six-month stint in Saudi Arabia. Therefore, he made sure that his six bars -- CJ Moloney's, Fishbonz, Fishbonz Owasso, Market Pub, Roosters and The Buckaneer -- were participating in the campaign by highlighting the beer as well as encouraging customers to donate their bottle caps and keg tabs.
"We're helping guys to have access to something that they wouldn't normally," he said.
Cutliff, of MillerCoors, said that more than 1,000 bars and retailers throughout the city of Tulsa are participating in the campaign.
Gendron expects that between his clubs he will be donating $10,000 worth of bottle caps and keg tabs from the bars. For Tulsa overall, he predicts that the city will raise between $30,000 and $100,000.
Gendron was unsure of how many bottle caps had been raised currently; however, he said that, on average, the bars go through 70 cases of MillerCoors High Life per week as well as half a dozen kegs.
Cutliff said that the company hasn't targeted a certain number or bar for the Tulsa area to reach as they would like to raise as much as possible.
As far as the "High Life Experiences" for the returning veterans, some have already begun.
Cutliff said that within the central region, returning veterans have been delivered tickets to see games for the Kansas City Chiefs or for the Kansas City Royals. In addition, some veterans have also been taking in concerts with tickets that have been given to them by the company throughout the campaign.
"I like the idea of giving these experiences away already," Cutliff said. "It keeps the program fresh and alive and on top of people's minds."
The company will continue to give out "High Life Experiences" throughout the rest of the campaign as well. The campaign ends Sept. 30.
For more information, visit millerhighlife.com.
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