Murphy’s, When it Rains it Pours and other Freebie Guilt


Murphys, When it rains it pours

Both myself and Jonathan received our reminder at the same time on our phones while working in the office..

You have one day to redeem your free pint of Murphy’s

This is part of the very clever “When it rains it pours” campaign being run by Murphy’s. It works in a really simple way – you register for the APP and when it rains the kind brewery give away a thousand free pints!

When you log onto the APP you claim your pint and you are then given four days to redeem your free pint.

The free pints are available from participating pubs and the APP gives a listing of pubs as well as a convenient “pubs near you” guide. You reclaim the free pint by showing the barman your phone and they give you a unique code that you enter on your APP.

We are both Murphy’s drinkers, it was late on a Friday afternoon after another busy week so why not!

On the way over we had a chat about “free” stuff and how it makes you feel..I always feel like a skinflint when I’m not paying for something.

I feel mean and I feel like an inferior customer when I’m not handing over money. I feel strange when I hand over a discount card and I even feel slightly awkward when producing a voucher to pay for something in a restaurant. Whenever I claim “free” stuff or I end up using a voucher I always feel I should buy something extra so that I don’t feel as bad!

The last time I tried to use the APP in a bar that was listed in the scheme they told me they knew nothing about it. Embarrassing!

As we were ordering our pints we had our phones armed and ready and we tentatively asked the barman if they were doing the Murphy’s scheme …”sorry we don’t do that here“. Ground…open up and swallow me now!

Already feeling like a skinflint and a little red faced, I just paid for our pints and decided I wasn’t going to use the APP anymore – its just too embarrassing.

The initiative is a really clever one that should be great at building customer loyalty and one that also helps to recruit new customers. Due to poor execution (Sorry Heineken – get a sticker or POS for participating pubs and make sure the staff know about it it – make sure the pubs listed on the APP are actually participating) it instead just becomes a phone gimmick that runs the risk of making customers feel bad.

I’m sure this was a million miles away from the great original intention when the scheme was devised.

With any voucher, scheme or discount initiative you are using in your business it’s important that the execution is simple and efficient, your team are fully informed and there is no risk that a customer is left feeling guilty, inferior or with a big red face!

Greg Canty is a partner of Fuzion

Fuzion are a Marketing and PR firm with offices in Cork and Dublin.

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4 Responses to “Murphy’s, When it Rains it Pours and other Freebie Guilt”

  1. Howard Hughes Says:


    I always enjoy your thought-provoking and well written posts. I am sure to read them right through. As they saying goes, they are like a lady’s dress, long enough to cover all the important bit and short enough to keep interest.

    There was a time I could relate to your blushing when handing in a discount voucher or went looking for free stuff. That’s probably because that’s when it we relate most to it. Nowadays, money or no, I use vouchers to shake the stigma of only using them in times of need.

    I am presuming that you went to a pub that was on the list of the app and was unbeknown to the barkeep and if so, surely it was up to them to prove otherwise?

    I’m smiling at the idea of a Corkman turning red…

    Keep up the great work.

  2. Mike Bird Says:

    Damn. Right there you nail the difference between the ‘customer journey’ and the ‘customer experienence’. It’s not the journey they design, it’s how you feel about it that makes the difference.

    This is why so many loyalty / incentive programmes fail. It’s not the technology or the business model or the promotion or the attractiveness of the offer to the customer – it’s that for the customer to cash in on the promotion, the customer has to do something new with strangers which is potentially embarrassing if it goes wrong…

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