- Californian wine brand Böen is urging U.S. shoppers to "Tap Our Cap" with a smartphone to educate themselves about its wines. The vintner equipped its bottles with near-field communication (NFC) technology that directs mobile users to a website with information about the brand, its history and food and wine pairings, according to a press release.
- Because the information appears on a website, smartphone users don't need to download a separate app. Böen owner Copper Cane Wines & Provisions put the special caps on its chardonnays and pinot noir varieties.
- Böen worked with Italian packaging company Guala Closures to develop the NFC-equipped cap and creative agency SharpEnd, which develops marketing uses for connected packaging.
Böen aims to tell a brand story in a way that's traditionally hard to convey in liquor stores full of hundreds or even thousands of options, which could help shoppers learn about the wines in a potentially overwhelming environment. By letting shoppers scan packaging with a smartphone to activate online content, the winemaker can provide the equivalent of a TV commercial at a fraction of the cost of in-aisle media placements.
Böen is the latest alcohol brand to add mobile-based experiences to packaging and collateral materials to reach customers. In June, Pernod Ricard's Malibu brand of coconut-flavored rum brought its "connected bottle" to the U.S. for the first time after testing it in the U.K. and Germany. Bottle caps equipped with an NFC tag activated a mobile website that lets users play an interactive game for a chance to win branded swag. The bottles also had QR codes to scan with a smartphone camera to unlock the experience.
Barbadillo, a Spanish winemaker, boosted sales from a marketing campaign in which some 126,000 bottles were packaged with NFC technology. Thirty percent of consumers who tapped the bottles in a store to see more product information on their mobile device later bought the wine.
U.S. microbrews also have experimented with NFC activations. Black Red Ale last year added bottle labels equipped with NFC tech to interact with smartphones and provide AR facial recognition. Finnegans, a brewer in Minneapolis that gives all profits to charity, last year created a mobile app to run an AR "TV takeover" commercial during the Super Bowl. Oskar Blues Brewery in 2017 embedded coasters with NFC technology that activated a behind-the-scenes video showing more information about the company's beer.