Case study: Diageo’s connected whiskies

Diageo launched a campaign in Brazil in August 2012 that saw the drinks company bring three of its whisky brands into the digital world.

Diageo’s interactive bottles for Father’s Day meant people could personalise their gift

To celebrate Father’s Day, anyone who purchased one of the bottles could attach a personalised film tribute to their dad to the bottle they were gifting. Both giver and receiver could socially share the digital content and opt in to ongoing CRM programs.

Software company Evrythng built a technology platform called +More, which makes all Diageo’s products smart by connecting them to the web. This technology is different to QR code technology, which only delivers the same message to everyone. With +More the brand is able to give a bespoke message to an individual consumer via a bottle.

Each physical bottle is turned into an interactive, digital medium which can provide personalised information and experiences to consumers exactly when and where they want, the company claims.

The software allows the company to use digital interaction with physical products to deliver information and experiences for people, in the time and place of their choosing. +More also allows digital interaction with retailers and other supply partners providing data analytics about how products are being distributed, sold and consumed.

Evrythng founder and chief marketing officer Andy Hobsbawm says: “When someone gives that bottle on Father’s Day, it turns it into a one-of-a-kind, unique personalised item.

“Diageo makes around a billion bottles of premium spirits a year and right now those are static assets, they are not part of the internet. We are turning those bottles into owned pieces of digital media, so when a consumer connects with a bottle it becomes a way of delivering useful services, entertainment or information.”

The brands Diageo used in the trial were Johnnie Walker, Buchanan’s and Old Parr, and 100,000 bottles were involved across the three brands.

A spokesperson for Diageo says: “We are pleased with how the test went in Brazil and so have green-lighted further roll-outs.

“Ultimately, this technology is a strategic platform that has good potential, so theoretically there is scope to roll this out across different brands.”

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