LOOK Diageo launches "smart bottle" with personalised messaging

Alcoholic beverage brand Diageo is looking to launch a new “smart bottle” which it claims will “completely change the role of a bottle in the consumer experience”.

Diageo will launch with a prototype Johnnie Walker Blue Label “smart bottle” at Mobile World Congress. It partnered with Thin Film Electronics ASA, a developer of printed electronics and smart systems. The connected “smart bottle” aims to enhance the consumer experience by using printed sensor tags which can detect both the sealed and opened state of each bottle.

The tags and the sensor information will allow Diageo to send personalised communications to consumers who read the tags with their smartphones.

The innovation, created by Thinfilm in collaboration with Diageo Technology Ventures, will make it possible to send consumers targeted and timely marketing messages through NFC capabilities. This can be at retail outlets or after purchase. These customers will also receive promotional offers, cocktail recipes and exclusive content.

The technology allows Diageo to track bottle movements across the supply chain, in-store and to the point of consumption. Unlike conventional static QR codes that can be difficult to read, these tags can detect if a bottle is sealed or opened with the simple tap of an NFC smartphone, which leads to an added level of security.

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Helen Michels, global innovation director, Futures Team at Diageo, said:

“Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future. We constantly experiment with the latest cutting edge technologies to enrich and enhance the experiences delivered by our iconic brands.”

Davor Sutija, Thinfilm chief executive officer added that as mobility becomes ubiquitous, consumers want and expect brands to follow suit and deliver custom mobile experiences. However, today’s conventional NFC mobile marketing solutions are not technologically advanced enough to create immersive or customizable consumer experiences.

“Thinfilm is enabling the ‘smart bottles’ to carry digital information that can be accessed via NFC smartphones. Diageo can reap the benefits of the intelligence gleaned from our smart sensors and create engaging experiences for its customers. This is how we will begin to build the real Internet of Everything,” she added.

Diageo Technology Ventures was established in September 2014, and is a program specifically designed to solve some of the company’s existing business challenges and unlock new opportunities for future growth by working with emerging technology companies. This is the first initiative to be rolled out as part of this program.