- Barbadillo, a Spanish winemaker, has launched a marketing campaign in which wine bottles at stores around the world can "talk" to consumers through near-field communication (NFC) technology, according to a press release by Thimfilm made available to Mobile Marketer. Shoppers are urged to touch their smartphones to a bottle, which triggers a display of information about a contest with multiple €1,000 prizes.
- Some 126,000 bottles of Barbadillo's Castillo De San Diego wine have been equipped with NFC-enabled neck collars using Thinfilm's SpeedTap tags and CNECT Brand Analytics SaaS Platform. SpeedTap tags are thin sheets of plastic that integrate with product labels and/or packaging. No app is required to read the information contained in the tags.
- The campaign also uses television, online and outdoor ads to promote the contest and the "smart" bottles, which are sold through five major supermarket and superstore chains in Spain: El Corte Inglés, Carrefour, Hipercor, Alcampo and Eroski.
NFC has been called the next big thing in mobile marketing for a very long time, but the technology has yet to reach its full potential. There are some exceptions, of course, and Barbadillo's contest shows how retailers and other businesses with a strong brick-and-mortar presence can leverage the technology to encourage consumers to engage their products via mobile.
NFC tactics are also being used for ticketing, promotions and giveaways at sporting events, as well as in video displays in the backs of taxicabs in major cities like New York. But NFC, at least today, is used more in payment systems and supply-chain tracking than marketing.
The issues that appear to hold back NFC are myriad. There's still a reluctance among some marketers to deploy technology that might seem intrusive to consumers who are concerned about privacy and/or the security of their smartphones. There's also still considerable confusion about the differences among various push-style communications systems like NFC, geofencing, Bluetooth, iBeacon, etc.
But NFC's day may have finally arrived. In July, Apple announced a series of enhancements to its upcoming iOS 11 operating system aimed at enabling the so-called physical web — a layer of digital content connected to places, things and mobile devices through NFC, QR codes and associated technologies.