Diageo puts smart bottles to Test

Diageo is testing a “smart bottle” in Thailand that uses sensor tags to combat counterfeiting and push brand marketing directly to consumers.

Five hundred bottles of Johnnie Walker Blue Label, which carry tags that can be tracked through the supply chain and detect if they have been opened, have been rolled out in the country from this week. The bottles were unveiled in Europe in February but Thailand was chosen for the test launch because consumers were considered to be open to new technology.

Diageo is collaborating with software provider Selinko for the limited-edition launch and hopes to gain insight into how consumers respond to the smart bottles. The bottles can also send consumers targeted marketing even after purchase as the sensor tags contain updatable digital information that can be accessed by tapping with a smart phone.

In February, Diageo said that cocktail recipes or special offers could be sent to consumers through the tags. The sensors use ‘Near Field Technology’, which connects with smart phones when tapped or in close proximity. The technology still works after the bottle has been purchased, giving marketers the chance to reach consumers in their homes.

The initial project was a collaboration between Thin Film and Diageo Technology Ventures, a scheme launched last year that offered US$100,000 to fund new ideas in the drinks industry.
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