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Malibu launches 40,000 connected bottles

Malibu, Pernod Ricard’s coconut flavoured rum brand, are launching 40,000 near field communication (NFC) enabled bottles in the world’s largest test of the technology on a consumer product in alcohol.

Malibu are piloting the connected bottles exclusively in 1,600 UK Tesco stores from September 1st for four months to December 31st. Using the same technology that’s used for contactless debit and Oyster cards, it requires consumers to do nothing other than ‘tap’ the ‘Malibu sunset logo’ on a bottle with their phone.  The phone does need to be unlocked but, there is no pesky app to download or QR code to be dealt with!  You just need to have either an Android phone or the latest iPhone 6/6s to access any content. And each bottle has a neck-tag to provide a clear explanation of the technology! A digital campaign will also be launched to promote the new bottles.


Once ‘tapped’ the consumer is taken directly to a microsite offering five digital experiences, including an instant win competition for a pair of speakers, a user generated summer photo competition to win seven nights in Barbados, Malibu cocktail recipes, music playlists and a bar locator that uses the consumer’s geo-location to find the nearest Malibu bar and even one outside if the weather is good!

As part of its wider #Becausesummer campaign, it has been developed in partnership with creative agency SharpEnd following work at the Absolut IoT innovation lab in Stockholm on connected bottles. The campaign follows research by Pernod Ricard UK that found that consumers are increasingly more interested in buying experiences delivered via products and services rather than just products and services alone. The connected bottles aim to offer a value added experience wherever consumers are that requires minimal effort and piggy backs technology that the consumer is increasingly used to using.

In an interview with Marketing Week, Jo Alexander, Malibu marketing manager at Pernod Ricard UK stated: “We have identified an opportunity to use our bottles as media platforms, we are trying to find ways to connect with consumers more intimately. By turning bottles into vehicles that directly connect to consumers’ phones, we are providing added value.”

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