Malibu Gets Connected With Largest Global Execution Of ‘NFC’ Enabled Bottles

Malibu, the world’s No.1 coconut flavoured rum[1], is leading the way in the world of spirits innovation with the launch of its new ‘connected’ bottles. 45,000 Malibu bottles have been produced including an entirely app-less technology called Near Field Communication (NFC) to deliver content directly to a smartphone, and represent the largest global deployment ever of NFC on an alcohol product.

Embracing the brand’s Because Summer ethos, the ‘connected’ technology simply requires users to tap their NFC-enabled android phone onto the bottle’s Malibu sunset image to access content and prize draws instantly, delivering great summer moments and experiences. The result of the brand’s on-going partnership with creative agency SharpEnd, the initiative follows work undertaken at Malibu’s innovation lab in Stockholm to create a ‘connected’ bottles showcase, which has now led to the world’s very first pilot of its kind, to be trialled in the UK next month [September].

Embracing the technology, Malibu will be turning each bottle into a direct, digital touchpoint for consumers. ‘Tapping’ the iconic sunset logo on the Malibu bottle will open up a world of five digital Because Summer experiences – those moments when you feel you can do what you really want to, just because it’s summer – that consumers can access through their mobile browsers, including:
Instant-win competition: Tap to win UE Boom speakers
User-generated-content competition: a fabulous opportunity to win the ultimate summer holiday experience in Barbados
Bartender in a bottle: Malibu Because Summer drinks recipes
Bar locator: uses the consumer’s geo-location to find the nearest Malibu bar and alfresco drinking spots
Playlist: connects to Malibu Play on mix cloud to give playlists from Groove Armada, Marvin Humes, Clean Bandit and more to keep the Because Summer vibe going

Colin Kavanagh, Malibu Global VP for marketing, comments: “This is a huge world-first for Malibu and the wider alcohol sector, and reinforces our commitment to pushing the boundaries for Malibu in the digital arena. We are very excited that Malibu is the first spirits brand to bring this innovative technology to the forefront of the industry, and we look forward to rolling out the concept around the world.

“The initiative demonstrates our ‘Because Summer’ ethos, ensuring that our target audience of young-adult fun starters get the most out of their summer – whether that be a competition, drinks recipes or a playlist. We hope that the connected bottle helps Malibu fans to extend their summer celebrations in the UK, if only for a few days!”

Cameron Worth, Founder of SharpEnd comments: “Bottles are now media platforms, able to drive localised content that is defined by the market that sells the product and maintains the consumer relationship. Once the bottle becomes a media platform there are so many different things that can be delivered that are beneficial to shoppers. This provides an entirely new way to communicate with them and brings Malibu directly in front of its target audience, presenting the opportunity to drive brand loyalty through service delivery.”

The ‘connected’ bottles will be in-store in the UK, exclusively at Tesco, from the beginning of September. All bottles will have an accompanying neck-tag to provide the consumer with a clear explanation of the technology.


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