- Kilchoman Distillery, a single-malt whisky maker, partnered with near-field communications (NFC) marketing provider Thinfilm on a campaign that boosted engagement with consumers, according to a case study. Kilchoman replaced conventional neck-tag booklets on whisky bottles with Thinfilm's interactive tags that let shoppers use their smartphones to see more product details, taste profiles, brand messaging and distillery information.
- The NFC campaign led to a 6.5% engagement rate among consumers, outperforming more traditional digital marketing channels. The analysis also revealed insights such as consumer tapping activity among 13 European countries, a 22% engagement rate with Kilchoman's branded iOS app and a seven-week average "ship to shelf" time.
- Kilchoman plans to integrate Thinfilm's NFC technology directly into the whisky bottle labels, eliminating the neck-tags.
The case suggests that, for some brands, use of NFC is progressing beyond the test phase to becoming a more integrated part of their marketing strategy. Embedding NFC in bottle labels could help Kilchoman drive ongoing engagement with consumers once a bottle tag has been removed. For the strategy to be a success, the brand will need to ensure the content that customers can link to remains fresh.
Kilchoman is among the liquor brands that seek to appeal to consumers by offering them interactive experiences instead of fancy packaging alone. Ole Smoky Distillery, D'ussé cognac, Pernod Ricard's Glenlivet, Rémy Martin, Patrón tequila and Diageo's Bulleit Bourbon have developed smartphone-based campaigns to promote their brands in the past year.
Mobile technology has empowered liquor advertising to reach tech-savvy younger adults who are less brand-loyal and more open to trying a wider variety of beverages for different occasions. Millennials tend to drink more liquor and less beer than their predecessors did at their age, according to a Simmons study. When they do drink, they seek out diversity in their alcohol choices among craft beers, wine and spirits.
Thinfilm has created NFC campaigns for several other wine, beer and spirits brands, such as Oskar Blue Brewery and Barbadillo. Campari America, the U.S. distributor of Skyy vodka and Wild Turkey bourbon, this year distributed special Thinfilm-powered refrigerator magnets that consumers could tap with a smartphone to order spirits for home delivery. The "Campari on Tap" magnets opened a product page on Drizly, the online shop for alcohol delivery.