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Malibu deploys 300,000 connected bottles as part of summer campaign

Tim Maytom

Drinks brand Malibu has deployed 300,000 connected bottles across Europe as part of its 2018 'Because Summer' campaign. The brand has been experimenting with NFC 'smart packaging' since 2015, but this marks the first major deployment in Europe.

Having partnered with internet of things agency SharpEnd, the campaign will see 200,000 NFC-enabled bottles deployed in the UK, and a further 100,000 in Germany. The campaign comes after a successful 'test and learn' period which saw connected bottles sold at 1,600 Tesco branches in the UK.

"This technology brings us closer to our consumers through our products and allows us to on-board more markets as we deploy these connected bottles globally," said Colin Kavanagh, vice president of global marketing for Malibu. "This powerful combination enables us to push the creativity of our bottles and capture new data insights about how our bottles are engaged and our product enjoyed."

The bottles will enable users to access a series of games as part of Malibu's 'Because Summer' experience, with the UK bottles also featuring drinks recipes and rotating seasonal content, testing an 'always-on' content approach that extends beyond just the summer campaign.

The 2016 trial of the technology saw more than 45,000 bottles releases, with a 2.5 per cent NFC engagement rate (beating the expected 1.15 per cent due to the early stage of the technology). 48 per cent of consumers who used the NFC technology authenticated with a social platform, and 52 per cent entered the 'Instant Win' competition offered at the time.

"We have used key learnings and insights from our previous trails to both shape a content experience that connects with our consumers and their digital behaviour, and to allow us to scale up production on an operations level," said Caitriona Murphy, global brand manager at Malibu. "It's taken a truly innovative and collaborative approach between marketing, operations, in-house design studio and IT, alongside our agencies, to allow us to establish ways of working and set us up for future Connected Bottle releases."