Molson, subsidiary of Molson Coors has decided to advertise their brand of pale lager, Molson Canadian, in a positively selfish way. They have recently released a video showing the construction of a svelte refrigerator that was then flown to London to give ex-pat Canucks a chance to imbibe their homeland beverage. How to keep the Limeys, and everyone not wearing denim out of the picture? By outfitting the fridge with a passport scanner. The mini-documentary shows the engineer describing the components of the scanner, and then gives a demonstration. When a non-Canadian passport is inserted, nothing happens. When a Canadian inserts his passport into the machine, the fridge unlocks and allows access to a whole fridge of beer.
The machine appears to be nothing more than a simple web-camera hooked up to basic electronics that turn on once the passport is inserted. Rather than doing any actual scanning of personal documents, the camera simply verifies that you have the word “Canada” written on your passport (or so we can hope). A stunt like this in the US would probably get shot down as anyone with a Canadian Passport, including youngsters would have instant access to a plethora of beer, sure to cause a large amount of outcry. As a marketing stunt, it is fun while being slightly exclusive of a large population. On the other hand, if I were ever confronted with a Budweiser machine in say, Denmark, I would probably cry a little and then move on.