Friday, March 6, 2015

Will branded content on the bottle make people want to buy Johnnie Walker?

Johnnie Walker's premier Blue Label blend is now available in a "smart bottle."  If you buy one, or are are lingering close to a bottle, you will be able to read the tags with your smart phone.  These will include promotional offers, cocktail recipes and branded content.  (Lukovitz, 2015)

So what do you think?  Will this "amazing new consumer experience" generate increased sales?

Lukovitz, K. (2015, March 5)  Johnnie Walker Unveils Smart Bottle That Sends Marketing Messages.  Retrieved March 6, 2015, from


  1. Yes, i think it is a very innovative way to attract consumers especially in the long run. If the application is to continuously creating fun and creative interactive engagement with users, for example, when they find out about the promotions, they can spread the news to their friends and families via social media platforms. Also, companies are able to use the users' buying pattern for market research data. For example, advertisers may have more knowledge and infos/findings about the target market by offering them with an even more attractive deal which will interests them more and hence more spending/purchases of the Whiskey bottles will be made. Thus in my opinion, I believe that this new consumer experience will generate sales in the long run.


    New Tactic:
    Smart Bottles for Johnnie Walker Blue Label

    Will it sell:
    Yes, through interactive marketing before, during, and after the drinking experience, Johnnie Walker’s SMART Bottle is a marketing innovation true to their brand identity.

    Why Mobile:
    With so much time spent on mobile devices, physical products must enter the digital realm if the company wish to maximize sales.

    - Mobile programmatic ad spend in the US is set to hit $8.4 billion next year, surpassing online advertising spend for the first time, according to eMarketer.

    - Mobile marketing is constant relationship-building… This develops higher frequency, leading to a higher trust factor to the user and among peers.

    - Native commands higher eCPM rates (on average three times higher than standard banner ads) and leads to a more lucrative in- app advertising solution.

    - Advertisers are willing to place higher bids on an ad unit that mimics the publishers’ site, therefore leading to more clicks.

    - JW should be able to utilize this and advertise their own product for “free” in app, use as a platform to advertise upsell’s, partner brands, etc…, and be the founders of mobile smart bottle pairing, placing them in history as innovators in their field.

    I predict that the use of this marketing tool will;

    - Increase B2C sales of JW Blue’s consistency in liquor store

    - Increase B2C sales in Night Clubs, hotels, and other bottle service venues

    - Increase user generated advertising with social media awareness, new interface for users to access, view, and share advertisements

    - Generate a platform for mobile advertisements for JW Blue, up-selling new blends, informing about brand heritage, ad placement for partnering brands, etc…

    - Place JW in history as the first to innovative with the SMART BOTTLE which will inevitably occur with the rise of Functional Fashion, Quantitate self tech, mobile marketing, etc…

    Mission Statement:
    “Johnnie Walker was founded on a Vision… John Walker’s journey has always been defined by a belief in the power of the next step. But in nearly two centuries of great strides forward, the only one that matters is the one we have yet to take.

    Johnnie Walker's premium 80–86 proof (40–43% ABV) blend with no age statement. Johnnie Walker Blue Label, also known as Max Walker, is blended to recreate the character and taste of some of the earliest whisky blends created in the 19th century. Bottles are numbered serially and sold in a silk-lined box accompanied by a certificate of authenticity. It is one of the most expensive blended Scotches on the market, with prices in the range of US $200–$300.

  3. I think it will increase the sales because it is really useful. People can get the information of the products by using their cell phones instead of asking the sellers. When I go to the liquid store, I always ask the sellers which wine is good because I have no idea about each wine's taste. This smart bottle can help me know about each wine's characteristic. In addition, the main target for wine is men. Men like to show they are familiar with wine. They like to talk about the wine's taste, produced year, and ingredient. It is embarrassing for men (especially for rich men) to ask the sellers wine's information. With this smart bottle, men can just make decision by themselves or ask seller's suggestion. Furthermore, I think users will have a lot of interactions with the products. They can get promotions and share with their friends by using social media. The company might also record the customer's information and know their buying behavior to adjust their campaign. So I think the technology will work well.

  4. I think this "amazing new consumer experience" will help increase sales. One reason why is when they give cocktail recipes the consumers will be more interested in drinking delicious cocktails. So as they drink Johnnie Walker cocktails using Johnnie Walker alcohol they will buy more than before. And it will encourage people who do not usually drink Johnnie Walker to drink Johnnie Walker more.

    When the consumers take pictures of the labels it will send them to promotional offers. Through The promotional offers the customers can find out about special events and parties. They can also find out about Johnnie Walker's clothing line, if they have one, and other products. The customers could get coupons for other Johnnie Walker alcohol and other products from other companies.

    So I think it is good a idea.

    Ahreum Lee (Vivian)

  5. I'm thrilled by this (NFC)technology applied on consumer goods bottle. It not only makes communication more flexible and targeted(tracking where bottle is being sold or consumed), but also able to identify tampering and thwart counterfeiting which are big issues to be solved in the spirit industry for years. But at this early stage, it can be difficult to predict its success rate. Reasons are: (a)iPhones are not able to read a NFC tag (the NFC function of iPhone6 limited to Apple pay only), so the smart bottle will lose a big portion of target readers; (b) the typical consumption environment of whiskey(e.g. bars or clubs where drinks are served by bartender) usually would NOT let the end consumer to touch or hold a whiskey bottle; (c) it's can't be directly read by eyes, which means consumer should first aware of the NFC tag, then they will use their phones to read it, or consumer will be easily distracted by another eye-ball readable stuff before he/she linger the phone to the smart bottle.

    -Mengying Li (Cosette)

  6. Johnny Walker is a scotch, whiskey. And they have created a smart bottle for a scotch. I am guessing they should know better the target AGE that drinks whiskey and are either sure they are on mobile intensively and could be reached there easily or they know it's a younger crowd, niche market, that they are after through mobile. Because I think it is usually older men who drink whiskey and younger people who like cocktail recipies etc.. they would be more into, well, cocktails and different kind of drinks. Whiskey is definitely for mid 30's and up I think, that is if we want to go the youngest possible. But the strategy alone, using mobile, branded content and NFC capabilities is definitely the newest advertising trend every product would want to follow or use, and theoretically it should raise sales, there is nothing not good about this campaign! It just depends on their existing 20% user's age and if they are one of the mobile people to be affected by advertising through mobile.

  7. As mobile technology continues taking over the world I think Johnnie Walker has brought a brilliant idea to increase consumer experience. I thing that this will definitely lead to increased sales. Brands like Johnnie Walker have very loyal and specific consumers and I think that this will bring a very personalized aspect to the consumer/brand relationship. I believe that everything this offers will reach out to the consumers that fall into the 20 percent of consumers that make up 80 percent of their sales.

    However, I do think this will also appeal to other scotch drinkers that are not part of that 20 percent. I believe that because Johnnie Walker is the first to introduce this type of technology and some will just be drawn to it because of this technology aspect alone. Second people who are scotch drinkers that don't necessarily drink Johnnie Walker will be able to easily retrieve information and recipes for the brand. In turn this could convert those who prefer other brands to Johnnie Walker drinkers because of how easily they are able to obtain product information.

    Again, I do believe this new and innovative way to create amazing consumer experiences will lead to an increase in sales by both brand loyal consumers as well as potential consumers.

  8. Yes, I believe this mobile/digital campaign will increase sales. As mobility becomes ubiquitous, consumers want and expect brands to follow suit and deliver custom mobile experiences. According to a recent Cisco survey, 61 percent of mobile app users have a better opinion of a brand when it offers a good mobile experience. The impact is highest when tied with location-based uses, which are expected to reach $50 million by 2019.

    In addition, in relation to data base marketing and personalizing the consumers experience, communication between the product an the buyers will become increasingly more individualized. This will not only draw attention to the product, but will also market the product more directly to the addressable consumer. In sum, Johnnie Walker is providing a direct line of communication to consumers. This can only be done when marketers understand the context of interactions between the consumer and product such as if the product is still on the shelf in-store or in use at the consumer’s home.

    These mobile commerce efforts will also lead to greater customer retention. These marketing messages can be deployed while the consumer browses a selection at a retailer or after the point of sale, fostering the customer relationship throughout the entire lifetime of the buyer/seller relationship.

    The smart bottle being developed is a prime example of the possibility mobile presents for packaging and marketing.


  9. Linking a product to an IPhone always seems like a good idea to me. Not only because of the easy sharing concept the customers have but also because of the important data you can generate about your current customer. I find the idea sort of innovative and smart that they make people more interested and curious in the product. Only, if I were the one to execute this project I would have done it differently. In the blog it says that you can see the secret recipes and offers when you purchase the bottle OR when you keep lingering at the bottle. In my opinion you should only be able to see the content when you purchase the bottle!


  10. I am not completely familiar with the brand or how high-end it is, however, I think that if it is mid-tier then this feature will be extremely successful. Often times, consumers don’t know what they are needing to buy at a store, and having promotions and recipes put right in your face is valuable. I think it will most definitely attract new customers, which is always a goal in marketing- to grow market share, and then turn these first time customers into brand loyalists.