A blog all about ‘Beer Mats’

All about beermats, dripmats and coasters!

Beermat manufacturer, sorry, supplier Zyan buy beermat domains

The latest beer mat news is that Solent Media Limited trading as Zyan Design & Print has just purchased two .com beermat domains to “facilitate expansion”, at a cost of $10,000. The intention is laudable, but purists may claim that their money would have been better spent toward a deposit for the purchase of a print press, rather than a domain or two. There is nothing wrong with selling beermats, many print brokers, dealers, agencies, promotional houses, print suppliers and advertising houses do, but there is no evidence that these companies claim to be a beermat manufacturer in the process.

So, can you claim to be a manufacturer if you are not? The short answer is you can claim to be virtually anything, but it doesn’t mean you are, perhaps only that you simply aspire to be something else. Who knows, but here is the actual definition of a ‘manufacturer’: “a person or company in the business of manufacturing; esp., a factory owner”.  So, if you advertise and take orders for beermats, then place that order on a beermat manufacturing company, who then go on to manufacture the beermats, are you a beermat manufacturer? I think not!

This is the ‘title’ on Zyan’s beermats page as of today’s date: Beer mats, drip mats printer and manufacturer – Zyan Design & Print. Of course they are not alone, there is another Beermat Company using Google Advertising in which they claim that there is “no middleman”. Right, so this particular Beermat Company, doesn’t print their own beermats, but they claim in their advertising that there is no middleman. They also, by the way, claim to be a beermat manufacturer. What is the world coming to? Perhaps it is the Internet that facilitates or allows claims that are difficult for casual observers to substantiate? I know for example, that I would like to be 6′ 2″ tall, but if anyone was to meet me, they would quickly work out that I am a good 4″ shorter. But, if I made this claim on the Internet, who would know?

So what’s my beef? Well, there are dozens of highly professional companies out there that are actively selling printed beermats, but do not feel the necessity to claim to be the manufacturer. They offer a service, but they are not on a level playing field, because there is an implication, or perhaps a perception that, by dealing with a manufacturer the price will be cheaper, there is more control over the manufacturing process or maybe the service will be faster. Arguably, if there was no sales or commercial advantage, why would anyone claim to be a manufacturer when they don’t own a press?

There is NO reason why any individual or company should not buy their beermats through an intermediary, in fact, many choose to do so. But, I believe it is fundamentally wrong for any business to claim to be a manufacturer, when in reality they are an intermediary. If you offer a good service, your prices are competitive and you deliver on your promises, it is possible to be successful and candid.

4 February, 2009 Posted by | General, News | , , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Thirstys, UK based beermat company issue an advisory

UK based beermat manufacturer, Thirstys.co.uk Limited have taken the unusual step of advising their existing and potential customers of an advertisement currently running with Google Adwords is using the term ‘Thirsty?’. The company believe the use of this word is likely to cause confusion in the market given Thirstys is a well know brand in the UK and the name is synonymous with beermat manufacturing.

A company spokesperson said “We have had a number of customers indicate that they believed this advertisment was for our company and they have responded in accordance with this belief. The principle issue here, is that it is very clearly not difficult to confuse the term ‘Thirsty?’ with our own trademark ‘Thirstys’.

Added to which, because the website uses a generic name ‘beermatcompany.com, the casual browser is given no clue that this website has nothing to do with Thirstys until they reach the site. From what we can ascertain, whilst describing themselves as a manufacturer, this organisation does not actually own a print press. In addition, despite the fact that it publishes a UK address (which is shared by as many as 200 other companies), try as we might, we have been unable to identify any UK based employees, only a director based in Holland. For the record we wish to state that Thirstys.co.uk Limited have no association with The Beermat Company or The Beermat Corporation Limited and we shall be seeking guidance from our legal advisors legal advisors in relation to the form of this particular advertisement.”

In the meantime, Thirstys have asked that any individual or company that may have experienced similar confusion as a consequence of this advertisement to get in touch with them.

18 July, 2008 Posted by | News | , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Don’t be seduced into buying fake beermats

Ask any landlord, industry player or beermat collector and they will instantly tell you that a genuine beermat is made from wood-pulp and there is a very simple reason for that, it is the pulp that provides the beermat with it’s absorbency qualities.

 

The fact that for decade’s beermats have been made from pulp-wood for very good reason, there has recently been a plethora of companies offering ‘fake’ beermats, in other words, beermats that are not made from pulp. Why does it really matter? Well these beermats are quaintly described as ‘constructed beermats’ that is to say they are typically made by gluing printed paper onto the top and bottom of board to create the “beermat”. Whilst this may look pretty and may even justify the description of a beermat, there the similarities remain.

 

Constructed beermats, or as the experts might argue, fake beermats, may act as an advertising medium, but because the print is onto paper, thee beermats are simply unable to absorb liquid without coming apart. Typically as the constructed beermats come into touch with water, the paper simply comes away or curls from the board, leaving an unsightly mess. In addition, when water liquid comes into touch with printed paper, most people already know the outcome, streaks of wet print!

 

So why do people offer fake, constructed beermats? For the most part, it is based on price, in the past it has been easier and cheaper to print short runs on coasted paper and then construct the beermat. This is because beermat board has to be printed on specialized print presses which can deal with the thickness of the board, whilst constructed beermats can be printed on virtually any press. However, some of the beermat companies have introduced printing practices that allow short runs of pulp-wood beermats, yes litho printed, full colour runs on pulp-wood board….in fact one UK company offers runs starting at just 25 beermats!

 

Why are fake beermats still offered? Well given they are considerable less useful that a genuine beermats and that there is a real and practicable alternative, perhaps it is profit, the only way to be certain is to ask the people that continue to push these constructed beermats.

 

Whilst in the past there may have been some justification in offering constructed beermats, in spite of the fact that these mats had few, if any of the properties of a genuine pulp-wood beermats, it does seem difficult to justify now!

 

9 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Design a beermat competition

When in comes to widening the impact of a beermat message and maximising the return on their investment, the local county council of Neath Port Talbot undoubtedly lead the way. This forward thinking local authority decided that they would launch an anti-drink drive campaign during the summer months. This in itself is noteworthy; however, rather than simply pass the job to their advertising agency, they encouraged pupils from local schools to participate in the design of the beermats. Now that is clever!

 

Apparently, more than 300 entries were received from local pupils, resulting in 30,000 beermats being printed with 4 of the best designs submitted by the pupils. The council had originally intended to select one winner, but the quality was so high, they eventually opted for 4 designs. Fortunately beermats are flexible enough to offer up these types of changes.

 

The local authority was encouraged to use beermats to deliver their message after independent research has shown that a promotional beer mat will be seen and read ten times before being discarded. Beermats can be ordered though advertising agencies, promotional companies and of course, direct from the beermat manufacturer. Modern printing processes now mean that beermats no longer have to be ordered in multiples of 1m, in fact some beermat printers allow customers to order a few as 25 full colour, litho-printed beermats, now that is progress.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beermats deliver Road Safety message

You may well ask what beermats have to do with road safety. Well, road safety campaigners in the county of Cumbria used beer mats to reinforce the message that drivers should wear their seatbelts.

 

The county was alarmed at the number of people driving in Cumbria who were not wearing seatbelts. Therefore, they launched a campaign utilising beermats which included pictures of the injuries suffered by people who had not been wearing their seatbelts.

 

This particular campaign has a pleasant picture on one side and then relying on the age old practice of ‘beer mat flipping’ they included an image on the reverse of someone that had suffered horrific injuries as a consequence of not wearing a seatbelt.

 

Clearly beermats can deliver serious messages as well as act as an advertising or branding tool as was clearly recognised by the road safety campaigners in Cumbria. Some UK manufacturers of beermats offer short print runs at a fraction of the cost, allowing a wider audience to use beermats for small campaigns or perhaps, a number of different campaign designs.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beermats Help the Aged

Beermats were used in a campaign to raise awareness of the plight of old people living on their own at Christmas, on behalf of UK charity, Help the Aged. The hard-hitting campaign used a colourful beermat design to draw attention to the beermats and offered up a story of an old age pensioner living in isolation on the reverse of the mat.

 

Apart from these heart rendering stories, there was also a call to action for readers of the beermats. This called for them to use their mobile phone to send a ‘reverse-billed’ text which would result in a donation of £3 for the charity Help the Aged.

 

This was a prime example of beermats being used to deliver a serious messages as well as a tool to raise funds for a worthy cause. It further demonstrated the use of a beermat to encourage a call to action from the reader.

4 July, 2008 Posted by | Beermat Campaigns | , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer mats and the environment

Did you know that genuine beermats are 100% recyclable? That’s right, albeit the emphasis must be on “genuine”. Ask any beermat collector, enthusiast or professional buyer and they will tell you that ‘real’ beermats are made out of pulp board…and this is why they they can be recycled.

However, if you care about the environment, then you must beware of the fakers, these are the guys that call it a beermat, when really is is nothing more than a printed piece of paper that is glued to a piece of board! That is correct…not only is it a fake which cannot be recycled, but it is also useless as a beer mat. Why? Because it lacks the absorbency of a genuine pulp board beermat.

So, next time you are looking for an environmentally friendly way of delivering your advertising message, spare a moment for the humble beermat, but make sure it is a genuine pulp board beermat, available from the manufacturers.

3 July, 2008 Posted by | Common Uses | , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Beer Mats get the message across

No doubt about it, if you want to get your message across to a wide audience, then the humble beermat is about as good as it gets! With new manufacturing processes, it is now possible to print much smaller volumes of beermats and at a price that makes it a truly mass market advertising, promotions and marketing tool.

More and more companies are now turning to beermats to get their message across, including the UK Police force, cancer research companies, local authorities with environmental messages to name but a few. Some of the more forward thinking governement agencies and charities have even managed to get their beermats paid for. How, by selling the reverse of the beermat to a third party. Becuase beermats can have different design both front and back, a charity for example, could have their message on one side and their ‘sponsors’ on the other.

Other companies getting in on the act are taxi and and private hire businesses. They have recognised that 1000 full colour beermats for under £100 can really get their advertising message over to a targeted audience.

For those that are concerned about the environment, genuine beermats are made of pulp board, you have to be careful, there are a good number of ‘fales’ out there, therefore, genuine beermats are 100% recyclable.

Some beermat manufacturers, such as UK based Thirstys, even offer distribution. So you can order 100,000 beermats and have them delivered to a targeted number of pubs in you area. Great! That notwithstanding, the landlords are often grateful for free beermats, given the average pub will consume 1000 beermats per month. But because beermats are reusable, you can be sure, that before they get replaced, they will have been seen by 100’s of people.

Now it is even possible to buy pre-pinted beermats, for Birthdays, anniversaries, or if you prefer, business, customer service and sales message. These can typically be purchased online through Beermat Stores.

So next time you see a beermats, remember it probably has a story to tell and the people using this medium are wise to the ways of making their advertising money work for them and if that was not enough, they probably care about the environment as well.

2 July, 2008 Posted by | General | , , , , , | Leave a comment