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Publication numberUS20040050724 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/333,008
PCT numberPCT/AU2001/000859
Publication dateMar 18, 2004
Filing dateJul 13, 2001
Priority dateJul 13, 2000
Also published asCN1447959A, EP1312067A1, EP1312067A4, WO2002007133A1
Publication number10333008, 333008, PCT/2001/859, PCT/AU/1/000859, PCT/AU/1/00859, PCT/AU/2001/000859, PCT/AU/2001/00859, PCT/AU1/000859, PCT/AU1/00859, PCT/AU1000859, PCT/AU100859, PCT/AU2001/000859, PCT/AU2001/00859, PCT/AU2001000859, PCT/AU200100859, US 2004/0050724 A1, US 2004/050724 A1, US 20040050724 A1, US 20040050724A1, US 2004050724 A1, US 2004050724A1, US-A1-20040050724, US-A1-2004050724, US2004/0050724A1, US2004/050724A1, US20040050724 A1, US20040050724A1, US2004050724 A1, US2004050724A1
InventorsDerek Grul, Allan Dickins, Ian Reid, Rohan Onslow
Original AssigneeGrul Derek John, Dickins Allan John, Reid Ian Taylor, Onslow Rohan Macarthur
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Promotional system
US 20040050724 A1
Abstract
The invention concerns a carrier of information that is releasably affixed to a container, such as a beverage can. The carrier of information may be a small diameter compact disk (CD), or a token, for example. The CD may contain music, video images, games or competitions, or the token may carry printed images, competitions and the like. A consumer may select the promotional system, such as a can of soft drink with a small CD fixed to it, allowing the drink within the container to be enjoyed, along with the CD once it is removed from the can. The system may also include an adaptor to hold the CD, and allow it to be placed into a standard CD player. A method of promotion of a product utilizing this promotional system is also disclosed.
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Claims(37)
1. A promotional system comprising a container having a carrier of promotional material releasably affixed thereto.
2. The promotional system of claim 1, wherein said container is a beverage can.
3. The promotional system of claim 2, wherein said container is a beverage can of a generally cylindrical shape having a top surface bearing a manually releasable closure means, a base and generally cylindrical sides.
4. The promotional system of claim 3, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to the top surface of said container.
5. The promotional system of claim 3, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to the base of said container.
6. The promotional system of claim 3, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to the sides of said container.
7. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein said carrier of promotional material is a compact disk having pre-recorded data on at least one side thereof.
8. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk has an outer diameter of about 54 mm.
9. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk contains pre-recorded music.
10. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk contains pre-recorded video or images.
11. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk contains pre-recorded data able to be read using a computer.
12. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk contains pre-recorded data able to interact on the internet.
13. The promotional system of claim 7, wherein said compact disk contains a pre-recorded game able to be read using an electronic games console.
14. The promotional system of any one of claims 7 to 13, which additionally contains an adaptor, able to retain said compact disk and of a size and shape to be inserted into a compact disk player that is of the tray type, and allow said compact disk to be playable in said player.
15. The promotional system of claim 14, wherein said adaptor has a central aperture of a diameter that matches the outer diameter of said compact disk, and has means to retain said compact disk concentrically within said aperture, and said adaptor is otherwise of the same general shape and size of a standard compact disk.
16. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 6, wherein said carrier of promotional material is a token having data of a promotional nature on at least one side thereof.
17. The promotional system of claim 16, wherein said token is a disk that has an outer diameter of about 54 mm.
18. The promotional system of any one of claims 7 to 17, wherein said carrier of promotional material has approximately the same size as the side of said container to which it is releasable affixed.
19. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by means of an adhesive.
20. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by means of a break-away coating or wrapping.
21. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by means of releasable latching means integral with and on either or both of said container and said carrier.
22. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by latching means that releasably retains said carrier, and releasably latches to said container.
23. The promotional system of claim 22, wherein said latching means is separate from said container and said carrier.
24. The promotional system of claims 22 or 23, wherein said means is a cap that releasably retains said carrier within, and that releasably latches to a projecting rim around the top of said container.
25. The promotional system of claim 24, wherein the sides of said cap are adapted to break-away from the top of said cap.
26. The promotional system of claim 24 or claim 25, wherein the top of said cap is an adaptor able to retain said carrier within a recess in said adaptor.
27. The promotional system of claim 26, wherein said carrier is a compact disk and said adaptor is configurable to a size and shape to be inserted into a compact disk player that is of the tray type, and allow said compact disk to be playable in said player.
28. The promotional system of claim 27, wherein said adaptor is substantially, planer and comprises a plurality of petal portions, said petal portions linked by a plurality of hinged strut members, wherein said petals portions can be oriented between a closed position and an opened position by adjustment of said strut members, wherein in said closed position said adaptor has a circumference generally equivalent to that of said compact disk, and in said opened position, said adaptor is able to retain said compact disk and to be inserted into a compact disk player that is of the tray type.
29. The promotional system of claim 28, which has 4 or 5 petal portions.
30. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by means of manually releasable closure means on said container interlinking with said carrier.
31. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 18, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container by other bonding means.
32. The promotional system of any one of claims 18 to 31, wherein said carrier of promotional material is releasably affixed to said container in a tamper-proof manner.
33. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 32, wherein said carrier is retained at least partly within a recess in said container.
34. The promotional system of any one of claims 1 to 33, wherein said carrier is retained against a surface of said container.
35. The promotional system of claim 34, where said carrier is releasably affixed to said container by means of a break-away coating or wrapping, and where said container is retained at least partly within a recess in said coating or wrapping.
36. A method of promotion of a product, which comprises: allowing a consumer to select a promotional system, said promotional system comprising a container having a carrier of promotional material releasably affixed thereto, said product being contained within said container, and said promotional information appealing to said consumer; whereby said consumer purchases said promotional system, obtains said product, and releases said carrier from said container and obtains said promotional information.
37. The method of claim 36, wherein said promotional system is as defined in any one of claims 2 to 35.
Description
    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • [0001]
    The invention concerns a carrier of information that is releasably affixed to a container, such as a beverage can. The carrier of information may be a small diameter compact disk (CD), or a token, for example. The CD may contain music, video images, games or competitions, or the token may carry printed images, competitions and the like. A consumer may select the promotional system, such as a can of soft drink with a small CD fixed to it, allowing the drink within the container to be enjoyed, along with the CD once it is removed from the can. The system may also include an adaptor to hold the CD, and allow it to be placed into a standard CD player. A method of promotion of a product utilizing this promotional system is also disclosed.
  • BACKGROUND ART
  • [0002]
    Promoting products is an important function in the modern world. Nowadays, products are packaged in a more sophisticated manner to that used in the past. The packaging or container used with a particular, product usually displays information in an appealing and attractive manner, to encourage consumers to select that product from among other competing products.
  • [0003]
    In the past, promotional information has generally been provided physically on the packaging or container being used. For example, games and competitions associated with a product usually have the necessary information printed on the container or packaging. Also, give-away items that a consumer may obtain only if they purchase a product commonly require that the consumer write away for them.
  • [0004]
    Some simple give-away items have in the past been included with a product; normally inside the product's container or packaging so they are only available after the product is opened. For instance small toys are sometimes placed within a packet of breakfast cereal. However, this approach cannot be easily used with products that have interiors that are difficult to access. Similar difficulties arise with food and drink products; where there is often some danger in placing a give-away item inside the product where it can be accidentally ingested. Both difficulties relate to providing promotional items with soft-drink cans.
  • [0005]
    A small toy or some other give-away item has been placed on the exterior of, and removably bonded to, a product if the item cannot be placed inside the packaging. For example a small toy can be shrink-wrapped to jars containing food, such as peanut paste. However, the toy is normally visible to the purchaser, and less popular versions of the toy tend to be avoided in the store, which causes problems to storekeepers, as it is difficult to predict how popular the items will become to shoppers. Also, such items are susceptible to being pilfered in the store.
  • [0006]
    An improved and alternative approach has now been found to combine a give-away item of a promotional nature with a container of a product, such as a can of beverage, which may increase a consumer's desires to purchase the product.
  • DISCLOSURE OF INVENTION
  • [0007]
    An improved or alternative promotional system according to the invention comprises a container having a carrier of promotional material releasably affixed to it.
  • [0008]
    Preferably the container is a beverage can. Preferably also, the carrier of promotional material is a small compact disk (CD), of a size similar to the dimensions of the container to which it is fixed, or a generally disk-shaped token carrying promotional material.
  • [0009]
    One example of a suitable such a can is a beverage can of a generally cylindrical shape having a top surface bearing a manually releasable closure means, a base and generally cylindrical sides. The carrier of promotional material may be affixed to the top of the container, or to its base, although it may alternatively be fixed to the sides.
  • [0010]
    A variety of means for affixing the carrier to the container can be employed. For example, an adhesive that is releasable using reasonably finger pressure may be used. Alternatively a break-way coating or wrapping, such as a film or shrink-wrap, may be used to fix the two items together; with the break-away portion allowing their removal. Otherwise, releasable latching means on either or both of the container and the carrier can hold them together. There may also be some means, such as a separate cap, that releasably retains the carrier within, and releasably latches to the container. The separate cap may releasably retain the carrier within a recess, and releasably latch on to a projecting rim around the top of the container. A further approach is to utilise the releasable closure means on the container, normally a ring-pull closure, to interlink with the carrier; for example by latching through a centre hole in the carrier. Other bonding means can also be employed.
  • [0011]
    Preferably the carrier is a compact disk or a token bearing promotional information on a least one side. The token is preferably disk-shaped, but may also be of other shapes. The compact disk may have pre-recorded data on it, such as pre-recorded music, video, or images. It may also contain data readable using a computer, such as software or computer games, or material readable using an electronic game console. The CD or token will contain promotional material, and this can be borne on one or both sides of the carrier.
  • [0012]
    Ideally, the carrier is approximately the same size as the container, and more ideally still, has a similar shape and dimensions as the surface of the container to which it is fixed.
  • [0013]
    A method of promotion of a product is also described, which comprises: allowing a consumer to select a promotional system, the promotional system comprising a container having a carrier of promotional material releasably affixed thereto, the product being contained within the container, and the promotional information appealing to said consumer; whereby the consumer purchases the promotional system, obtains said product, and releases the carrier from said container and obtains the promotional information. The promotional system is as outlined above.
  • [0014]
    Furthermore, the promotional system may additionally include an adaptor, capable of receiving the carrier. For example, the adaptor may allow a CD carrier to be played in standard CD players, by holding the small CD in the tray used by such players. The adaptor may also be used to carry additional promotional material, or to display the carrier, especially with carriers that comprise tokens, or CD with attractive designs on their surface, for instance. The adaptor may preferably have a shape and the dimensions commensurate with the container, so that it may be affixed in a similar manner as the carrier to the container.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF DRAWINGS
  • [0015]
    The invention is now discussed with reference to drawings, where:
  • [0016]
    [0016]FIG. 1 shows one embodiment of the invention, being a cross-sectional view of beverage can that has a compact disk attached to it by means of the ring-pull closure.
  • [0017]
    [0017]FIG. 2 shows an enlargement of the top portion of the view of FIG. 1.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 3 shows an enlargement of the top portion of another embodiment of a beverage can with an attached compact disk.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 4 shows another embodiment of the promotional system, where the carrier of information, and beverage can are shown separated, in order to show details more clearly. In practice, this information carrier will be pressed onto the lid of the can, until removed, which occurs normally after purchase. Note the numbering of features in this embodiment is independent of the numbering used in FIGS. 1 to 3; the same number in FIG. 4 may refer to another feature in the earlier Figures.
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 5 shows yet another embodiment of the promotional system, with the carrier, such as a CD or token, being retained in a plastic cap that latches onto the top of the can.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 6 shows the embodiment of FIG. 5 separated, in order to show details more clearly.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 7 shows an enlarged section of the top of the embodiment of FIG. 5.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 8 shows a cross-section of the cap and CD in place on the can.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 9 shows another view of the embodiment of FIG. 5, with the cap/CD separated from the can.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 10 shows a side view of the embodiment of FIG. 5, with the cap/CD in place on the can.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 11 shows an enlarged view of the embodiment of FIG. 5.
  • [0027]
    [0027]FIG. 12 shows one embodiment of an adaptor for use with the carrier, especially with a CD carrier; showing an attachment especially for a beverage can, with an expandable carrier, before expansion, with a CD included.
  • [0028]
    [0028]FIG. 13 shows the adaptor of FIG. 12, after expansion, with a CD being retained by the adaptor.
  • [0029]
    [0029]FIG. 14 shows a top plan view of the adaptor of FIGS. 12 and 13, prior to expansion.
  • [0030]
    [0030]FIG. 15 shows a sectional side view of A-A from FIG. 14.
  • [0031]
    [0031]FIG. 16 shows a perspective view of the adaptor of FIGS. 12 to 15.
  • [0032]
    [0032]FIG. 17 shows an alternative embodiment of an adaptor, as a top plan view.
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 18 shows a sectional side view taken through A-A of FIG. 17.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 19 shows a top perspective view of the adaptor of FIGS. 17 and 18.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 20 shows a bottom perspective view of the adaptor of FIGS. 17 to 19.
  • [0036]
    [0036]FIG. 21 shows another embodiment of the adaptor.
  • [0037]
    [0037]FIG. 22 shows a view of the adaptor shown in FIG. 21 from below.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 23 shows an expanded portion taken from the section marked “A” in FIG. 22.
  • [0039]
    [0039]FIG. 24 shows another view of the interior of the adaptor, without a CD in place.
  • [0040]
    [0040]FIG. 25 shows a side view of the adaptor of FIGS. 21 to 24.
  • [0041]
    [0041]FIG. 26 shows another side view of the adaptor of. FIGS. 21 to 25, but with some cross-sectional detail being displayed.
  • [0042]
    [0042]FIG. 27 shows a top plan view of the adaptor portion with the break-way side wall removed.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS
  • [0043]
    One possible arrangement for the promotional system involves a container having a manually releasable closure means. It is preferred that this may be a beverage container, having a “ring-pull” type of closure means.
  • [0044]
    The container may be a beverage can, of the sort that has a top surface, a base, and cylindrical walls. Such cans commonly hold soft-drinks, such as cola, lemonade, soda waters and the like, as well as alcoholic drinks, such as beer, wine coolers and similar drinks. The can is commonly made of steel or aluminium.
  • [0045]
    These cans commonly have closure means located in their top surface, normally of the “ring-pull” type. The closure means can be operate with finger pressure to open the container, allowing the contents to be consumed.
  • [0046]
    As well, containers made from plastic and/or cardboard, that may have an inner metal foil protecting layer, may also be employed with the promotional system. These may be blow-moulded bottles, made from materials such as PET. A variety of closure means are used with these containers, such as screw caps, pop-up flaps, punch-through holes, with or without tamper-proofing.
  • [0047]
    Other containers than beverage containers can be used with the invention. Some non-limiting examples include spray containers containing pressurised liquid and gases, having a button and spray arrangement to release the contents. Also, there are bottles or tubes with caps that have a locked portion that must be broken or snapped before releasing the cap. Other containers are also within the scope of the invention.
  • [0048]
    The containers may be of other shapes apart from cylindrical, as well, such as square, rectangular, tetrahedral, and so forth.
  • [0049]
    The carrier of promotional information is fixed in a releasable manner to the container, so the promotional information is normally made available to the consumer after purchase.
  • [0050]
    A preferred carrier is a compact disk, but other carriers may also be used.
  • [0051]
    The compact disk (or “CD”) is a moulded plastic disk containing digital data. A low powered laser beam scans the disk to reproduce recorded information. The compact disk was invented by Philips Electronics N.V. and Sony Corporation in 1980, and introduced commercially in 1982 for digital audio reproduction. The compact disk has expanded beyond audio recordings into other storage and data distribution uses, notably for computers (eg, CD-ROM, CD-R, CD-RW) and entertainment systems (eg, videodisc, DVD). As used herein, the term “compact disk” or “CD” is intended to cover all pre-recorded and recordable disks, regardless of the data recorded, or the encoding method used.
  • [0052]
    A standard CD is 120 mm (4.75 inches) in diameter and is 1.2 mm (0.05 inches) thick, and has a central circular hole. It is composed of a clear polycarbonate plastic substrate, a reflective metallic layer, and a clear protective coating of acrylic plastic. The reflective metallic layer holds the data, which is kept in the form of minuscule depressions (pits) and contrasting flat regions (lands) that are arranged in a spiral track (groove) winding from the disk's inner hole to its circumference. The centres of adjacent grooves are spaced 1.6 micrometres apart. The central hole has a diameter of 15 mm.
  • [0053]
    A smaller CD (eg, Minidisk) of 80 mm (3.1 inches) in diameter is also used for audio. There is also a larger version, for video disks (eg, “laserdisc”) with a diameter of 120 to 300 mm (4.7 to 11.8 inches).
  • [0054]
    A DVD has the same dimensions as a standard CD but cannot be read by a standard CD player, although a DVD player can read standard CDs. DVD disks have smaller pits and separation tracks than with a standard CD.
  • [0055]
    Some CDs have a shape that is not circular, for example they can be rectangular or square. These also fall within the scope of the present invention.
  • [0056]
    Also, double sided as well as single sided CDs may be utilized.
  • [0057]
    If a CD is used as the carrier of promotional material, it is preferred that it has a diameter that is equal to or less than the minimum size of the surface of the container to which it is fixed.
  • [0058]
    Drink cans normally have a circular top surface that has a diameter a little more than 54 mm. They usually have an outer rim, where in manufacture, after filling with a beverage liquid, the top is joined to the rest of the body. This rim may be used to help affix the CD to the can. Therefore, when the carrier is a CD, it is preferred that the CD has a diameter of about 54 mm. Slightly smaller diameters are also possible, within the range of about 44 to 54 mm. Slightly larger diameters are possible as well, and in this situation, the CD will overlap the rim on the top of the can.
  • [0059]
    The size selected will depend on the diameter and shape of the surface of the container used with the promotional system. The size should enable the CD to be securely affixed to the container. Nevertheless, other sizes may also be chosen, either the sizes of previously known CDs, or sizes consistent with the size of the container surface to which it is to be affixed.
  • [0060]
    Some beverage cans also have a narrow groove that runs around the outer edge of their top surface, just inside the outer rim of the can. In this case, ideally the CD or other carrier may have an outer diameter that is less than the diameter of the groove, so as not to overlap this groove.
  • [0061]
    Beverage cans are normally produced by manufacturing the top separately and bonding it to the remainder of the can in a separate step, after filling. In this situation, the CD of the invention may be incorporated on to the top during its manufacture, and the top, already having the CD attached to it, is then bonded to the remainder of the can in the conventional manner.
  • [0062]
    Otherwise, and with methods of fixing CDs to the container using wrappings and films, the CD can be attached to the can after the top attached to the can. Also, when the CD is clipped to the rim around top of the can, the CD may be attached after the top is attached to the rest of the can, or, depending on the method of attaching the CD portion, it may be possible to add the top and CD in one step or two co-ordinated steps.
  • [0063]
    If the carrier is attached to the container elsewhere than to the top surface of the container, then similar methods can be used to perform this operation.
  • [0064]
    There are commonly two types of players for CDs. One type holds the CD by means of its centre hole while loading it into the player, while the other type requires the CD to be placed in a tray resting on its outer edge. The small 54 mm CDs, which are one preferred embodiment of the promotional system, will work with the first type of player, but may require an adaptor to work with the second type of player. This adaptor should allow the small CD of the invention to be held in the tray of the player, and operate like a standard CD.
  • [0065]
    Providing such an adaptor is optional. But if the product is a beverage can, then such an adaptor may be included in the bulk packaging for a six-pack of the cans, for instance.
  • [0066]
    The adaptor is able to retain the compact disk, of whatever size it may be, and allow the combined compact disk and adaptor to be inserted into a tray-type of CD player. The adaptor will have a central aperture with a matching diameter as the compact disk that is the carrier, and have means to retain it in place. It otherwise may be the same shape and size as a standard CD; namely 120 mm in diameter and about 1.2 mm thick.
  • [0067]
    Any suitable means to hold the CD in place within the central cavity of the adaptor can be used. For example, the inner diameter of the adaptor may be slightly concave and a little larger than the outer diameter and thickness of the carrier CD, allowing the two to be clipped together using a small amount of pressure. The adaptor may be removable, and therefore able to be used with other carrier CDs, or else it may be permanently attached. Otherwise small clips, or other means, may be used to hold the adaptor and carrier CD together.
  • [0068]
    The adaptor may be a solid annulus, or else have pattens of voids in it, to reduce its weight. The adaptor may be constructed of any suitable material, but can, if desired, be made from some relatively inexpensive material, such as a plastic. Alternatively, the adaptor itself can be a portion of a compact disk, which is playable together with the carrier CD.
  • [0069]
    The adaptor may contain advertising or promotional material on its surface, together with instructions for connecting it to the inner carrier compact disk. It may have promotional information on it that will interact with the information on the carrier compact disk. For example, there may be a competition, which requires information to win being on the carrier CD (or non-CD item if the carrier is not a CD) as well as on the carrier. As another example, the adaptor may be a portion of a CD having the software to run an electronic game, while the interchangeable carrier CD portion holds different data, or game scenarios, levels or add-ons, to run with the software.
  • [0070]
    As a further option, the carrier may be latchable to the rim of the container, with tabs. In this embodiment, the latching means are a number of tabs, which can releasably latch onto a container. The tabs are initially bent at a steep angle relative to the plane of the carrier portion. This is then applied to a container, and to a portion of the container that is able to retain the carrier of information.
  • [0071]
    Once the tabs around the CD are flattened the CD may be played in a machine. If the overall diameter of the information carrying portion, as well as the tabs bound to this portion, is the same size as a standard CD, this can be flattened and played in any type of player. On the other hand, if the overall size is smaller, it can be played in a centre-lock machine, but not in a tray type machine, and so an adaptor may be useful to provide for playing in a tray-type machine. Alternatively, the tabs may be snapped off before playing the CD.
  • [0072]
    The carrier may, instead of a compact disk, be a promotional token. Such a token will hold promotional information on it, normally of a written or graphical nature, which may be retrieved after the container to which it is affixed is opened and the carrier removed.
  • [0073]
    As used herein, “token” included anything that bears promotional information, and it includes such things as: tokens, tickets, lottery and scratch-off lottery tickets, gaming cards, trading cards, coupons, game connectors like “TAZO™” connectors, brochures with text or photographs or images contained thereon, stickers, labels and so forth. The tokens may be constructed from any suitable materials, such as paper, cardboard, plastic, metal films and plates, and the like, including combinations of these.
  • [0074]
    One approach to achieving this is to have a circular, flat token, with a central aperture, made of a resilient material that is resistant to bending, such as hard plastic, or metal, which has promotional material on one side, the interior side, which lies closest to the surface of the container to which it is attached. The other, exterior, side of the token may have promotional material as well, or other information. But the promotional material on the interior side will not be discernable until the token is removed. Otherwise, the interior side may have promotional material that has an opaque covering layer, that can only be discerned after removing the token from the container, and scratching the covering layer away. The promotional material in this instance may be the answers to a competition, for example.
  • [0075]
    The promotional information of the invention is anything that assists with the selection of the product by a consumer. It is normally give-away material, such as music, games, competitions, or the like, that may tie in with advertising for the product.
  • [0076]
    The preferred embodiment of the invention where the carrier is a small compact disk containing pre-recorded data, is an ideal method of distributing such promotional information. The compact disk, in this instance, may contain pre-recorded music or speech, video or images, computer readable data or programs, or pre-recorded games able to be played on a computer or games console.
  • [0077]
    This information may comprise material that can be used to win prizes in a competition that may be related to the product or its advertising, or material such as popular music, games or puzzles that can just be enjoyed by the consumer.
  • [0078]
    Another approach to affixing the carrier of promotional information to the container is to align the carrier against one surface of the container, preferably its top, and wrap the two items in a material that will hold the items together, until the carrier may be removed after purchase.
  • [0079]
    The beverage can and the carrier may be shrink wrapped using a thermoplastic that shrinks to hold the CD on to the top surface of the can. The wrapping may cover the whole of the two items, or else just the parts required to retain them together.
  • [0080]
    Another approach is to provide some means for retaining the carrier that also is able to retain the container. This may be a separate cap that releasably retains the carrier within a recess, and releasably latches to a projecting rim around the top of the container. This cap may be blow moulded, and be of suitable dimensions to retain a CD within a recess in the base of the cap, and then have a small ridge to retain the rim of the can. Ideally it may also have a skirt, of a generally frusto-conical shape that fits closely around the top area of the can's walls.
  • [0081]
    It may also be useful to incorporate a small air-hole in the cap, for example located in its centre. Otherwise, a number of air-holes may be incorporated in the cap, or its design may allow for some air gaps. This will allow the air within the cap to equalise easily with the surrounding atmosphere. This is useful because beverage containers are frequently stored and sold in refrigerated cabinets and the like, so condensation of moisture within the cap can become a problem. This problem can be reduced if the air within the cap can circulate easily with the outside atmosphere.
  • [0082]
    The cap may also be attached to the base of the container, as a further alternative.
  • [0083]
    As a further option, the cap can be designed to include an adaptor for the CD, or token. The adaptor is able to retain the carrier, and with a CD, may allow it to be held within a tray in a standard player that uses such a tray to load the CD into the playing mechanism. With a token, the adaptor can also retain it, either to allow it to be displayed, or to include additional functionality. For example, it may adapt the token to be attached to other items, such as containing a magnet to allow attachment and display of the token on a metal surface. It may also function as a frame to allow the token to be displayed in a standing position on a shelf, or to be worn as jewellery such as a broach, or necklace.
  • [0084]
    Ideally, if the cap includes an adaptor, the adaptor may preferably be of a similar size to the CD, and to the surface of the container to which it is attached. In this situation, the adaptor should be arranged to initially be of similar dimensions to the CD or carrier, to retain the carrier on the container. But after removal from the container, and from the CD, the adaptor is then able to be expanded, so as to retain the carrier, and to be retained itself within the tray of a standard CD player.
  • [0085]
    One possible approach is to provide a carrier in the general shape of a cap, with means to retain the carrier within it, and also having means to releasably latch on to the container. After purchase of the promotional system, having such a cap, it can be removed from the container. The side walls of the cap may be removable, releasing the CD, and leaving the top of the cap. The top portion of the cap remaining may be of a shape that can be expanded, leaving a centre circular hole able to retain the CD within a groove, for instance. The outer diameter of the expanded adaptor is of dimensions to be held within a tray of a standard CD player.
  • [0086]
    Turning to the drawings, the promotional system is now discussed with respect to various examples.
  • [0087]
    In FIG. 1, there is shown one preferred embodiment of the present invention, being a cross-sectional view of a promotional system (10) comprising a beverage can (11) having a compact disk (12) attached to its top, by means of the centre hole in the compact disk being retained by the ring-pull closure mechanism (13) on the can.
  • [0088]
    [0088]FIG. 2 shows an enlargement of the top section from FIG. 1, showing the same features, numbered identically. In this Figure, it can be seen that the ring-pull mechanism (13) is attached to the surface of the beverage can, at its centre (14). The centre portion of the surface surrounding the attachment (15) is raised slightly above the remainder of the surface, to hold the compact disk in place. The compact disk (12) sits within a shallow well on the surface of the can, this well defined by an outer rim (16) on the can.
  • [0089]
    [0089]FIG. 3 shows an alternate arrangement. As with FIG. 2, the ring-pull mechanism (13) is attached to the surface of the beverage can, at its centre (14) by a rivet. The central portion of the top surface surrounding the attachment (15) is raised slightly above the remainder of the surface, to hold the compact disk in place so that the central hole in the CD fits over the raised portion. The compact disk (12) sits within a shallow recess (17) on the top surface of the can, this recess having a circular lip (18), which surrounds the outer edge of the CD. Ideally the lip should project above or level with the top surface of the CD. Between the lip (18) and the rim of the can (16) there is a groove (19), which is a common feature on beverage cans.
  • [0090]
    The base of the recess (17) shown in FIG. 3 is shown as being slightly convex. It is also possible to have a substantially flat base, so that the CD fits snugly in the recess, or even a slightly concave shaped base.
  • [0091]
    The can is opened by pulling the ring-pull lever. In the embodiment shown in FIGS. 1 to 3, the breadth of the ring-pull lever is slightly larger that the central aperture in the compact disk. The lever can be broken off the can, or else deformed to allow the compact disk to be entirely separated from the can.
  • [0092]
    As an alternative, the lever may be small enough so that the compact disk can slide off of the lever after opening the can. In this situation, it is preferred that the compact disk fits snugly within the central well of the can, or within a shaped cavity in the top surface of the can, to restrain the disk in place.
  • [0093]
    In FIG. 4 another variation for the promotional system is shown. The container is a beverage can (5) that has a top end (6), and a ring-pull opener (7) in the top. The top of the can has a rim (8) around its circumference. The carrier (1) has a small CD as the information carrying portion (2), and a central aperture (4) in the CD portion. It is bound by a number of tabs (3). These tabs are hinged to the information carrying portion, and also have a small section (9) that projects above the carrying portion. This allows the tabs to be bent back to flatten it. If a few of the tabs break off, this will normally not affect the functioning of the CD.
  • [0094]
    As an alternative to this arrangement, the tabs can be easy to snap off, allowing the CD to be used without any tabs being present at all.
  • [0095]
    In FIG. 5, a further embodiment of the invention is shown. The can (50) has a cap (51) made of clear plastic covering its top. This is shown more clearly in FIG. 6 where the can (50), cap (51) and CD (52) are expanded.
  • [0096]
    An enlarged view if the cap (51) is shown in FIG. 7. There is a recess (53) for retaining the CD or token at the end of the cap. The CD is retained in this recess by a number of dimples (54) around the edge to hold the CD in place, but which allow it removal with gentle pressure. There are another set of dimples (55) further down, which latch on to the rim of the can. There is a skirt (56) that lies closely along the upper portion of the sides of the can. At the edge of the cap, there is a ridge (57) that acts as a finger grip. The cap is made from a flexible polymerised material such as polyethylene, polypropylene, or PVC for example. It may be transparent or opaque, or contain printed text and images, for instance.
  • [0097]
    [0097]FIG. 8 shows an enlarged cross-section of the cap (51) retaining a CD (52) in place upon the can (50). The centre hole (60) in the CD is shown. Also there is an air space (61) shown, located between the surface of the CD and the top if the can, to help protect the CD from scratches and other damage.
  • [0098]
    [0098]FIGS. 9, 10 and 11 display further views of the embodiment shown in FIGS. 5 to 8, and labelled identically.
  • [0099]
    [0099]FIG. 12 shows a preferred embodiment of a promotional system (70) that is attached to a beverage can, for example, by latching to the rim on top of the can. The system in this example is in the form of a cap, and includes a CD (71) that is retained within the cap, being held in place within a groove in the inner surface of the side wall. The side wall (72) is removable. The top (73) of the cap is an adaptor, in its initial compact form.
  • [0100]
    [0100]FIG. 13 shows the top of the cap (73), ie the adaptor, after the side wall has been removed, and in its expanded form retaining the CD (71).
  • [0101]
    In FIG. 14, the top of the cap or adaptor (73) is shown alone, in more detail, in its compressed form. The adaptor (73) comprises a number of petals (74) which are connected to each other by means of a number of struts (75). The struts are hinged (76) to allow the petals to be arranged in a compressed form, as shown in FIGS. 12 and 14. The petals (74) can also be pulled apart, to expand the adaptor to a larger configuration, as shown in FIG. 13.
  • [0102]
    The petals are pulled apart, and the struts (75) rotate from a somewhat tangential orientation to a radial orientation, to re-arrange the petals in an expanded form.
  • [0103]
    The petals (74) in their fully expanded form, have a recess on one side that is of the same dimensions as the CD, and which is adapted to retain the CD within the recess. The CD may be retained in the recess my means of a groove around the circumferential edge of the recess. If the adaptor of made from a resilient material, such as plastic, the CD can be pressed into the groove, and held in place by the inner surface of the recess in the adaptor, and by the outer beading on the other side of the groove. Preferably, there should be reasonably good tolerances of the size of-the inner recess, so that the CD is held firmly in the recess and in the adaptor. However, and less ideally, if the recess is larger that the CD, the CD can still be retained by gravity in the adaptor, in the tray of the CD player, for players that after loading, rotate the CD by connecting to its centre hole.
  • [0104]
    The groove (78) and the recess (79) are shown in FIGS. 15 and 16.
  • [0105]
    An alternate embodiment of a cap incorporating an adaptor is shown in FIGS. 17 to 20.
  • [0106]
    Again, the adaptor cap (70) is initially in a compressed form, and retains a CD (not shown), and is able to be latched to the top rim of a beverage can (not shown), for example, by means of its side wall (72). The side wall (72) can be removed from the adaptor portion (73). The side wall (72) can be broken from the adaptor (73) by being only thinly attached together, and there may be a break-away tear-off strip to assist with this, which can have a gripping section (77) protruding from the strip, to help the user understand the mechanism, and to start the dismemberment process.
  • [0107]
    The adaptor has a number of petals (74), held together with struts (75) that are hinged (76) to allow the petals to be pulled apart. In contrast to the other embodiment shown in FIGS. 12 to 16, this embodiment has the struts being initially oriented generally radially, and by means of an extra hinge, the petals can be pulled apart from the centre in FIG. 17, rather than rotated as with the version in FIG. 12.
  • [0108]
    [0108]FIG. 18 shows a cross-section A-A′ from FIG. 17. The cavity (79) for retaining the CD (once the adaptor is expanded), as well as the groove (78) for holding the CD in place within the cavity. The initial arrangement of the adaptor in its compressed form, has a recess (80) that hold the CD in place when the adaptor is latched to the beverage can, or other container. The side wall (72) is shown connected to the adaptor portion. It is preferred that a small air gap (81) should exist between the CD and the edge of the can, to minimise the risk of the surface of the can damaging the CD when the can is in transit. The latching means (82) is indicated in the Figure, which is able to latch on to the rim of the beverage can.
  • [0109]
    [0109]FIGS. 19 and 20 show additional views of the embodiment also shown in FIGS. 17 and 18, and numbered accordingly.
  • [0110]
    The adaptor units in FIGS. 2 to 20 have 4 petal portions. The adaptor can have any number of these petals, but preferably has three or more, to give added stability, and most preferably has 4 or 5 petal portions.
  • [0111]
    [0111]FIG. 21 shows another embodiment of the adaptor and cap combination, which has 5 petal portions.
  • [0112]
    The cap portion (73) has its side wall (72) in place, and the side wall has a flange portion (90) to allow the cap to be gripped and removed from the container to which it is latched. There are five petal portions (74) shown, in their closed position. The petals (74) are linked together with strut members (75) that have hinged sections (76) to allow the adaptor to be expanded. The struts are joined to a hub (89) in the centre, which has a central hole, for example allowing the CD to be partly visible when the promotional system is fully assembled.
  • [0113]
    [0113]FIGS. 22, 23 and 24 show the interior of this version of the adaptor. There are a number of lugs (91) located around the inside surface of the side wall (72). As can be seen in FIGS. 21, 22 and 23 the CD, when the adaptor is in the opened position, is held by a number of nubs (93), and holes (94) in the body of the adaptor are positioned directly above these nubs. This helps to indicate that the CD is correctly positioned within the adaptor.
  • [0114]
    [0114]FIGS. 25, 26 and 27 show additional views of the adaptor. The lugs (91) in the side walls are visible in the outer wall, as shown in FIGS. 25 and 26.
  • [0115]
    The caps are preferably constructed from a plastic material, using conventional techniques.
  • INDUSTRIAL APPLICATION
  • [0116]
    The invention has industrial application for the promotion of products in containers, as well as for products that can be recorded on compact disks. It has application in the advertising, and marketing industries.
  • [0117]
    It will be apparent that obvious variations and modifications of the invention in accordance with its spirit can be made without departing from the scope of the invention, and these are intended to be part of the invention.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification206/217, G9B/23.088, 206/308.1, G9B/23.092
International ClassificationG11B23/38, G11B23/30, G09F27/00, G09F25/00, B65D85/30, G09F23/00, B65D51/28, G11B23/03, B65D85/57
Cooperative ClassificationG09F23/0091, B65D2517/0052, B65D17/16, G11B23/38, G09F27/00, G09F23/00, G11B23/30, B65D51/28, B65D2517/0098, G09F25/00
European ClassificationG09F25/00, B65D51/28, G09F23/00, G11B23/30, G09F27/00, G11B23/38, B65D17/16