Johnnie Walker's premier Blue Label blend has unveiled a prototype "smart bottle" that enables the brand to, among other things, send targeted, personalized marketing messages to consumers.
Printed sensor tags in the bottle's label have technology called OpenSense, which uses smartphones' near field communication (NFC) capabilities.
Whether they've invested in a bottle, or are simply lingering near one in a store, consumers can read the tags with any NFC-enabled smartphone to see promotional offers, cocktail recipes or branded content.
The technology, created by Norwegian printed electronics company Thinfilm with Diageo Technology Ventures, was introduced at this week's Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.
“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," said Helen Michels, global innovation director, Futures Team at Diageo, who said the collaboration with Thinfilm will allow Diageo to explore all of the possibilities of smart bottles.
The technology also lets Diageo track bottles' movements across the supply chain, in stores and wherever it's being consumed, and detect whether a bottle is open or still sealed — useful for identifying tampering and thwarting counterfeiting and black market spirits sales.
The prototype bottle is the first initiative to come out of Diageo Technology Ventures, a program launched last September to solve business problems and identify new growth opportunities by working with emerging technology companies.