- Bulleit Bourbon is using an augmented reality (AR) experience to promote its "tattoo edition" bottles, a collection of four limited-edition bottles emblazoned with unique tattoo designs. To activate the experience, users can scan a QR code on special tags around the bottles' necks, according to a statement.
- The bottles, announced on National Tattoo Day on July 17, were created in partnership with some of the country's top tattoo artists whose work is inspired by the culture of the cities where they live. The tattoo edition bottles are part of Bulleit Frontier Works, the bourbon brand's ongoing series of projects and collaborations with modern artists and "cultural creators."
- After scanning the code with a smartphone, users can unlock an interactive AR experience that digitally brings each artist's design to life. The limited-release bottles will be available for purchase in each artist's respective state beginning in August, and select bottles will be available nationwide.
Liquor advertising in the past decade has evolved to emphasize unique and memorable experiences over fancy packaging as a way of appealing to younger adults who are less brand-loyal and more open to trying a wider variety of beverages for different occasions. AR technology popularized by games like Pokémon Go has received much greater support in the past year from companies like Apple, Google, Facebook and Snapchat with their integration of immersive features, letting more marketers create individualized computer-generated experiences that match their brand objectives and can more deeply connect with key consumers.
Diageo's Bulleit Bourbon takes pride in its vintage-style packaging, even suing rivals like Redemption whiskey for trademark infringement last year. Bulleit has cultivated a frontier-like aura with its canteen-shaped bottle and embossed brand name above the label, even as the brand hovers between artisanal and mass market. By combining specialized collectible packaging with mobile technology to create AR experiences aimed at its audience of tattoo enthusiasts, Bulleit can use the bottles as a launchpad for entertaining content.
Bulleit is among the liquor brands that have created AR experiences tied to their packaging. Cognac brand Rémy Martin this month launched an AR application in collaboration with artist Matt W. Moore that lets users search for clues that take them through real-life adventures in major cities. Premium tequila Patrón and The Macallan single-malt Scotch whiskey have used similar AR tech to offer immersive experiences that tell their brands' stories with more media-rich content.