Malibu ‘Because Summer’ Campaign Launches Connected Bottle Trial in Amsterdam

Malibu, the world’s number one coconut flavoured rum, is launching the next stage of its technology trial of connected bottles as part of its global ‘Because Summer’ campaign.

Created in partnership with SharpEnd, Malibu’s IoT agency, the next phase will launch late October in Gall & Gall stores across Amsterdam. Much like the UK trial last September, the bottles incorporate NFC technology embedded into the sleeve to enhance the shopping experience for consumers by creating new digital touchpoints.

Each bottle will carry an educational neck-hanger inviting consumers to tap the front of the bottle with their NFC-enabled smartphone. Following the news that Apple has opened up its NFC capabilities recently, this paves the way for brands to explore NFC engagement for consumers across both Android & Apple platforms. Simply by tapping the Malibu sunset, consumers will be able to unlock three digital experiences through their mobile browser, including:

  • An interactive ‘Shake Your Coconuts’ game that offers several different Malibu prizes to be won
  • Exciting new drink recipes with videos guiding consumers on how to make the most of their Malibu drink
  • Exclusive Malibu-related media that can be downloaded to continue the summer feeling

In 2016, the ‘Because Summer’ campaign which was focused on the UK market, saw the successful deployment of 45,000 NFC-enabled connected bottles across major Tesco stores. The number of units produced made this the largest global deployment of NFC on an FMCG product. Each bottle provided a new way for the brand to communicate directly with consumers and garner valuable audience insights, such as large swathes of purchasing and demographic data, significantly enhancing future CRM efforts. The NFC interactions on the bottles alone massively outperformed typical rates for mobile engagement in the FMCG sector (2% versus 0.5%), even more impressive given that it was driven by an incredibly early-stage technology.

Other recent technology innovations from Malibu include ‘Coco-nect’ – a connected coconut serving cup for Malibu cocktails that banishes the need for queueing at music events. The work Malibu and SharpEnd have been delivering together forms part of a marketing strategy that is working so well for the brand it is contributing to an increase in global sales of 5% despite the white rum category being in decline.

Colin Kavanagh, global VP marketing, Malibu & Kahlúa says: “Following the success of our connected bottles trial in the UK last year we are committed to continue on this journey to connect with consumers through our bottles using the Internet of Things.”

Cameron Worth, founder of SharpEnd says: “It shows that there is another leading market in Europe that is adopting products as media platforms. IoT on drinks bottles is a global trend and we will see further markets in 2018 engaging in the technology approach.”

Research carried out by SharpEnd and marketing company Mindshare found that the brands that weave IoT innovations into everyday lives with minimal effort on the part of consumers are likely to have more success and visibility. And 62% of consumers are willing for brands and connected products to collect data if they receive value in exchange.

Source: SharpEnd

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