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

  1. Conor Hughes Says:


    A great post – its a pity these sort of things happen – doesnt give one much faith in mobile marketing. I have tried to do the same thing in a local restaurant with a new app that was launched and when I showed the waitress the deal she knew nothing about it. I was happy to pay for my food but was annoyed at her reaction – what are you handing me your phone for! The owner of the restaurant came over and apologised and insisted the meal was free but he had no idea of the initiative either. It turned out the next time I was in, he told me his wife had signed up and failed to let anyone know. He now has a sign outside his restaurant mentioning the deals associated with the app.

  2. jonathanleahymaharaj Says:

    I got a message on Facebook to say that they’d fixed the app – now I dont know if that means that they deleted the non-participating pubs or that the non-participants are now in the Cool Gang™, but i am more than willing to give it another punt!

  3. Roisin O'Hare Says:

    A very good point well made. Something for all marketeers to think about before organising the campaign. A lot of hard work does into these campaigns but it highlights the importance of POS to support the campaigns. Something as simply as a poster on the door of all participating pubs would have solved the problem.

  4. Brian O Brien Says:

    Been using it for ages, great campaign and even better that the local pub gives a Beamish + Taytos instead of a Murphys!

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