For the first time in the U.S., a spirits brand has launched with an NFC (near field communication) tag, offering exclusive content both for people perusing the shelf and consumers who have purchased the product. Astral Tequila, a new premium brand of New York City-based Davos Brands, introduced the interactive packaging innovation on shelves in select states in December 2017. The NFC tag is embedded in a neck tag on the spirits bottle and was supplied by mobile marketing technology provider Thin Film Electronics AS (“Thinfilm”).
“Any consumer products company is probably thinking about ways to reach the consumer as close as possible to the point of purchase,” says Joen Choe, Vice President Marketing for Davos Brands. “It’s even more important to the spirits industry since we’re so regulated in what we can to do reach the customer. Being able to tell more of a story at retail, to get a sense of the consumer that’s interacting with our brand, and to dynamically change and update the brand content on the software side were very compelling to us.”
At point of purchase, when consumers tap their smartphones on the bottle, they are treated to an original video featuring Jonathan Goldsmith, formerly known as, “The Most Interesting Man in the World.” Quips Goldsmith in the video, “I told you I don’t always drink beer. I prefer tequila—Astral Tequila.”
Given the NFC tag’s ability to be individually customized, Thinfilm programmed the Astral tags to recognize when the same consumer has tapped the tag a second time within a 48-hour period, indicating they most likely have purchased the product. Explains Choe, “We have video content that delivers a simple ‘reason to buy’ message for that first tap, and then more of a ‘thank you/how to use the product’ message for the second tap.
“When you’re a new brand that commands a premium price point, anything you can do to educate and engage the consumer is valuable. We want people to be entertained and surprised by Jonathan, we want to educate them on why the product is unique, and we want to teach them how to use it—in our case, how to make some delicious drinks.”
Thinfilm’s CNECT™ cloud-based platform also allows Davos to collect consumer data such as how they are engaging with the bottle, where they’re tapping, when they’re tapping, etc. According to Choe, this information will help Davos ensure its marketing and media investments are wisely spent. “By geo-targeting our media and seeing where consumers are engaging with the brand, it allows us to have a better read on where we should be investing time and money,” he says.
The cost for this interactive marketing strategy was fairly nominal, Choe shares. Because there is a cost to having hangtags customized to fit a specific package, the addition of the tag “was a relatively easy decision in terms of cost,” he says.
The Astral bottles with tags can be found on store shelves in retail outlets throughout California, Texas, Florida, New York, Illinois, New Jersey, and Illinois.