Diageo turns to AR for Legends Untold Special Releases whisky launch

David Murphy

Diageo is backing a series of special, collectors’ item whiskies with an augmented reality (AR) campaign and launch film created by Gravity Road. Each year Diageo curates a Special Releases collection of aged, rare and sought-after whiskies, often from famous and even now-closed distilleries. The highly collectable bottles are numbered and this year’s series of eight whiskies comes under the banner ‘Legends Untold’. 

The Legends Untold theme is reflected in the whisky bottle labels, designed by renowned film and music poster illustrator Ken Taylor (Mad Max Fury Road, Metallica, Queens of the Stone Age). Taylor created eight mythical creatures for the collection and Gravity Road is bringing these legends to dynamic life with AR for the first time. 

The line-up of mythical beasts is as follows: The Lion’s Fire (Lagavulin 12yr); The Lion’s Jewel (Lagavulin 26yr); The Rogue Seafury (Talisker); The Tale of The Twin Foxes (Oban); The Scarlet Blossoms of Black Rock (Cardhu); The Siren’s Song (The Singleton Glendullan); The Moonlit Beast (Mortlach); and The Spring Stallion (Royal Lochnagar). 

Each of the whiskies has a QR code on the back, which, once scanned, takes the user to an immersive AR experience, bringing the mythical legend to life and also taking them on a journey, describing each whisky’s background and providing tasting pointers. They can then explore the full collection and continue through to and the Special Release landing page.

To support the launch, Gravity Road also produced a movie-trailer style film, in collaboration with Emmy award-winning Huge Designs, showcasing the characters and teasing the AR experience.

The AR connected packaging and launch film form part of a global toolkit for Diageo’s Special Release 2021, and it is supported by an influencer program, as well as a media partnership with HypeBeast, consumer and trade PR, tasting events and on-trade activations. 

“The complexity and richness of Special Release whiskies deserves a more sensorial  experience to allow fans to savour both brand and product,” said Gravity Road Co-founder, Mark Boyd. “Augmented reality allows that, transporting drinkers back to the distillery with stories of the whisky’s creation. A heightened experience for discerning drinkers.”