Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented patron tequila amazon echo show alexa google home
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Raising a glass to Technology

 

Few sectors have embraced technology in their marketing as well as the drinks industry and tequila makers Patrón are leading the way.

As Tech Trends highlighted last year, the drinks industry is at the forefront of new technology and is well aware of the opportunities MR and IoT offer when marketing lifestyle products. One company in particular, has been leading the way, Patrón, makers of excellent Tequila. They have been breaking new ground in beverage marketing for years now, so Tech Trends met up with their VP of Marketing Adrian Parker to find out what role technology plays in their company strategy.

The consumer journey is much more advanced now, so the modern marketer's toolkit has evolved to a plethora of exciting enhancements Click To Tweet

“Patrón prides itself in being a leader in its industry and that includes leveraging digital and mobile marketing.” Adrian explained. “We’re proud to work in the tech space and test new technologies that will enhance the consumer experience. We’re now able to educate our consumers on not just the bottle and the liquid, but the history and authenticity of the brand as well as its versatility. The consumer journey is so much more advanced than it was years ago so the modern marketers tool kit has really evolved to a plethora of so many cool, exciting enhancements as well. We can now leverage AR, AI enabled voice technology, virtual reality and more.”

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented patron tequila amazon echo show alexa google home

In fact, they were amongst the first drinks companies to embrace 360 video and VR with The Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience in 2015 and continue to showcase this experience at marketing events today. The experience gives users a “bee’s eye view” of the Hacienda Patrón in Jalisco, Mexico and works in VR and modern browsers.

“Seeing how handcrafted the Patrón tequila-making process still is, it’s the greatest marketing asset we have—it’s also the least scalable,” says Adrian “Since we can’t bring millions of consumers to our working distillery in Mexico, VR created an opportunity for us to bring Mexico to them.”

The handcrafted process behind Patrón tequila-making is our greatest marketing asset. VR created an opportunity to bring Mexico to consumers Click To Tweet

The VR experience was a hefty investment on Patrón’s part. To create it, they hired an airline pilot to fly a drone outfitted with six GoPros through the Hacienda. Live action scenes were combined with computer animation, and, in total, the project took eight months and an onsite-crew of nearly 100 people to complete. Then, the company had to secure over 200 Samsung Gear VR goggles and 30,000 Google Cardboard kits to use at events around the world. But because the experience is also available online, Parker says that hundreds of thousands of consumers have been able to fly throughout the Hacienda—making VR a worthy investment in their eyes. As we discussed in 2017 mobile AR is the hot new tool in drinks marketing so I asked Adrian where Patrón’s AR vision come from and what are the benefits the brand has experienced using this technology?

“When Apple launched AR technology as part of their operating system, it made it accessible to the everyday user and provided an excellent opportunity for us to reach consumers in an innovative way like never before. The technology provides us with a critical platform to touch real people using how they are consuming their information. We are able to educate on our products in an impactful and digestible way that did not exist prior to this technology.”

When Apple launched AR technology as part of their operating system, it made it accessible to the everyday user and provided an excellent opportunity for us to reach consumers like never before Click To Tweet

Not content on resting on their laurels, Patrón have been working on their ARKit App to incorporate social sharing and a futuristic shopping function. Aside from the app’s educational component, teaching users more about the core Patrón line, users will be able to purchase products directly through the app via US site Reserve Bar.

“The new ARKit update features a new direct purchase capability where users can buy Patrón’s core line of tequila directly through the app via ReserveBar.com, which is a first for the technology. Users also now have the addition of a ‘photo booth on-the-go’ with themed frames that can be shared directly on social platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.”

The new ARKit update features a new direct purchase capability where users can buy Patrón’s core line of tequila through the app Click To Tweet

Alice Bonasio VR Consultancy MR Tom Atkinson Tech Trends Review AR Mixed Virtual Reality Augmented patron tequila amazon echo show alexa google home

Now, users of “The Patrón Experience” ARKit app can also send a virtual holiday card right from the app using holiday-themed frames, giving users the ability to have a photobooth on-the-go. The existing camera function has been enhanced with social media integration and a sharing feature, allowing users to share their images directly on social platforms, or save to their camera roll.

Their latest advance sees Patrón adding an action to Google Home, allowing users to “Ask Patron” and talk to Google Home as they would a bartender for cocktail suggestions and tips, gift recommendations, tequila facts and more from the comfort of their home.

Their latest advance adds an action to Google Home, allowing users to Ask Patron for cocktail suggestions and tips Click To Tweet

Patrón is on a journey powered by technology to reimagine how spirits consumers connect with their drinks and the people who make them Click To Tweet

Patrón also currently has this skill via Amazon Alexa and are launching a new skill on Amazon Echo Show, taking advantage of the new platform’s capabilities and featuring:

  • An interactive touch display in ddition to the standard voice interaction
  • Graphical elements complementing voice interaction (think Echo with a screen) featuring Patrón’s Limited-Edition 1 Liter Holiday Bottle
  • The ability for users to find the perfect holiday gift based on their budget and drinking preference
  • Helpful tips on how to perfect holiday cocktail-making skills (ex. How do I muddle?) and get Pro-Tip videos from world-class bartenders
  • Users will be able to ask the Amazon Echo Show how to craft 400+ different cocktails using tequila

 

“Using Amazon Alexa Echo Show’s new interactive touch display and standard voice interaction, you begin using the skill by saying “Alexa, Ask Patrón.” Users can Ask Patrón any number of questions such as what cocktail they’ll enjoy based on type, flavor, occasion and ingredients available. Then, consumers can easily make the drink by watching the recipe and hearing and seeing the instructions. You can also learn about Patrón’s offerings and get cocktail-making tips from bartenders. Similar to our new ARKit app update, users can buy Patrón directly through the Echo Show. With the Google Home technology, Patrón officially added an action allowing users to “Ask Patron:” talk to Google Home just like you would a bartender for cocktail suggestions and tips, gift recommendations, tequila facts and more from the comfort of your own home. Very similar to the Alexa skill, but with another widely used technology.”

Users can Ask Patrón any number of questions such as what cocktail they’ll enjoy based on type, flavor, occasion and ingredients available Click To Tweet

So where does Adrian see tech taking customer engagement next?

“In the near future we’ll be physically interacting with our favorite Patrón bartender (bot-tender) as he scans the kitchen to recommend cocktails based on available ingredients. After he demonstrates how to make, shake and drink the cocktail, he’ll start a party playlist for your guests and order more tequila for next time. Patrón is on a journey to totally reimagine how spirits consumers connect with the products they drink and the people who make them, all powered by various technology.” Adrian concluded.

In future we’ll be interacting with our favorite Patrón bot-tender as it scans the kitchen to recommend cocktails based on available ingredients Click To Tweet
Cheers to that!

To find out how to leverage VR/AR/MR in your enterprise, Tech Trends offers bespoke Virtual Reality Consultancy support

Tom Atkinson is a Digital Producer & Photographer at R3Digital and Reviews & Dept. Editor at Tech Trends. Connect on LinkedIn and follow him on Twitter @R3Digital