Glenlivet, the single-malt scotch distillery owned by Pernod Ricard, partnered with music identification app Shazam — whose acquisition by Apple is currently facing EU scrutiny — to create an augmented reality experience to promote a limited-edition whisky called The Glenlivet Code. Each year, the distillery releases a bottle without cask information or tasting notes to challenge whisky connoisseurs on their tasting skills, per The Drum.
Glenlivet Code packaging has a Shazam QR code to scan with a mobile device and open up a virtual room where a hologram of master distiller Alan Winchester greets them and guides them through a tasting. The whisky, inspired by British Code breakers, promises to appeal to the most discerning whisky drinkers, per Campaign.
Tasters will be scored on how well they detect the whisky’s ingredients, and can see how they measure up against peers on social media. Glenlivet won’t reveal the official tasting notes until the end of the year. The Glenlivet Code will be available this month in 28 countries for $120.
Glenlivet’s gamified campaign harnesses the power of mobile marketing and the interest in AR technology to reach a younger generation of consumers, particularly millennials who drink more liquor than their predecessors did at their age, according to a Simmons study. Younger adults tend to drink less beer because of health concerns, and when they do drink, they seek out diversity in their alcohol choices among craft beers, wine and spirits. Whisky is well suited to this kind of exploration, given its regional varieties and the many ways that it can be fermented, aged and flavored with peat.
The Glenlivet Code’s gamified campaign of ranking people by their tasting skills is a key way to engage its customers while engaging them with the characteristics of the brand. Brands such as Home Depot, Mercedes Benz and Ally Bank also have created gamified apps intended to engage smartphone users. While Glenlivet isn’t offering a grand prize for the top-ranked whisky taster, players can get the satisfaction of seeing how their skills are ranked among social media peers if they choose to share the results.
There has been a deluge of AR apps of late, many built with either Google's ARCore or Apple's ARKit. Shazam, whose acquisition by Apple is being reviewed by European Union antitrust authorities, last year began offering its AR platform for its brand partners, giving marketers access to a user base familiar with using the app to access content. A key part of the platform consists of the Shazam Codes that can be scanned with the app to deliver experiences such as 3D animations, product visualizations, mini-games and 360-degree videos, per a statement. At launch, Shazam partnered with Beam Suntory on an AR experience to promote Sauza or Hornitos Tequila for a promotion leading into Cinco de Mayo.