A coaster is not JUST a coaster.
Besides being a convenient little protector for your table surface, it more importantly doubles as an advertising space. In addition, a coaster triples as a drink cover (which was more important in the past, as explained below).
Like a tap handle, a coaster is functional as well as advertising space for your message.
Almost better than a tap handle (but we would never say better), coasters are mobile, inexpensive and easy to store. They are given away and reused. They are looked at, touched, picked up, peeled apart (don't do that) and thrown out; someone’s eyeballs have been on them multiple times, or multiple eyeballs have noticed them in their lifetime. Coasters come in various sizes, shapes and materials.
No matter your purpose, coasters can be branded with your logo and viewed by so many potential customers. Cork and paper are some of the cheaper options that can be imprinted with just one colour, or full colour images. Ceramic, glass and metal are not as absorptive but can be stylish, long lasting pieces of decor. Stone or foam coasters are often used in a car to absorb that excess coffee spillage from the drive thru.
How did the coaster come to be?
The first coasters were designed for decanters or wine bottles so they could be slid (or “coasted”) around the dinner table after the servants had retired. (from Wikipedia)
Bugs and dirt were commonplace in the 19th century, and no one wants either in their drinks. Small absorbent pieces of material were used to cover the glass or mug to prevent the bugs and dirt. The problem being that the material was not often washed, so was it really any better than the bugs and dirt?
A German printing company, Friedrich Horn created the first “beer mats” around 1880. They were made of cardboard, and it wasn’t long after that Robert Sputh patented his wood pulp beer mat. Shortly after, the printers would imprint their beer mats, and the monumental idea quickly spread to brewery marketers and distilleries.
Tegestologist: a collector of beer mats or coasters.
Coasters increase your brand impact, sales and revenue. For the brewery or distillery that serves beer and food, there is no better alliance. How long do your customers sit at a table sipping their drink or eating their meal? How many impressions does that coaster give in that amount of time? So much information can be placed on that small billboard and can influence a great number of people to choose your product - or at the very least, recognize your logo.
Have you ever thought of promoting your social media with coasters? You don’t have to be promoting drinks or desserts; coasters can proclaim so much more!
The humble yet ubiquitous coaster: the biggest bang for your advertising buck.