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BizReport : Trends & Ideas archives : December 16, 2015

Johnnie Walker connected bottles rolled out in Thailand trial

Alcohol is now part of the Internet of Things, thanks to a new bottle developed for Diageo's Johnnie Walker brand that has just rolled out in a test in Thailand.

by Helen Leggatt

Designed in partnership with Thin Film Electronics ASA, the new bottle for the Johnnie Walker Blue Label brand is equipped with a printed sensor tag with near-field communication.

The printed sensor tags use Thinfilm's OpenSense technology and can detect whether the bottle is open or sealed. The tag's technology enables Diageo to track bottle movements across the supply chain, in-store and to the point of consumption.

Perhaps even more interesting from a marketing point of view, the bottles can be tapped with a smartphone by shoppers in a store, which could then provide product information or even an on-the-spot promotion. After purchase (i.e. once the seal is broken), messaging changes in line with use of the product, such as cocktail suggestions.

"Mobile technology is changing the way we live, and as a consumer brands company we want to embrace its power to deliver amazing new consumer experiences in the future," said Helen Michels, Global Innovation Director, Futures Team at Diageo, in a statement earlier this year. "We constantly experiment with the latest cutting edge technologies to enrich and enhance the experiences delivered by our iconic brands. Our collaboration with Thinfilm allows us to explore all the amazing new possibilities enabled by smart-bottles for consumers, retailers and our own business, and it sets the bar for technology innovation in the drinks industry."

But, why choose Thailand for the launch?

Speaking to The Spirits Business, Sam Maguire, senior innovation manager at Diageo's Futures Team explained that the country was a "dark market" where alcohol advertising was largely prohibited claiming that "It doesn't conflict with any laws that exist" and that the company was "very cautious with this and worked within the laws that exist".

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: alcohol, Internet of Things, technology, trends

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