After launching The Macallan's Double Cask 12 Years Old whisky in October of 2016, the second 12-year-old whisky in the brand's portfolio, in 2017 we were challenged to increase The Macallan's market presence on shelf, as well as to drive trial of the Double Cask. From a communications standpoint, we also needed to answer these two questions from two very different audiences: "Why does The Macallan need a second 12-year-old whisky?," our current consumers would ask, and, "How is this any different than the other Macallan 12-Year-Old?"
Our objectives were to: 1.) Drive trial and showcase how The Macallan's most popular whisky, the Sherry Oak 12 Years Old, and the Double Cask are complementary, 2.) Generate awareness and educate consumers on the differences between the European Oak and American Oak while generating awareness on social media, attracting new millennial drinkers.
One insight we gleaned was that we needed to reach a millennial drinker who isn't necessarily considered a traditional scotch drinker. These younger drinkers are looking for a more palatable entry on their way to becoming a scotch aficionado. The Double Cask 12 Years Old, and its American Oak makeup, has a distinctive flavor that allows the brand to offer a new style of The Macallan to new drinkers looking to explore and a sophisticated whisky experience.
With our research in hand, this led us to the following key strategic insight: Our millennial consumer is looking to consume stories/education through experiences, both digitally-led and physical.
Through this, we created the first ever Augmented Reality Art Exhibit that influencers, media and consumers could experience – be it from launching national event experiences in key markets to bringing the experience to consumers' homes through an interactive A/R app.
GALLERY 12 A/RT EXPERIECE
The Macallan invited these three key target audiences to immerse themselves in an interactive, narrative augmented reality experience. Through artistic AR visuals and a voice over audio experience, where they learned the differences between our two unique whiskies: the Sherry Oak 12 Years Old and the Double Cask 12 Years Old.
Using physical art pieces and HoloLens technology, We took visitors through an augmented journey that allowed them to peer through virtual windows into forests of European and American Oak, learn about the distinct oak casks, generate swirling light ribbons that reflect the natural colors of the whiskies, and activate the distinctive flavors like cinnamon, fruit and honeycomb for each of these two single malt whisky expressions. The art experience was narrated by our National Brand Ambassador Kieron Elliott.
THE MACALLAN A/RKit APP
For consumers who couldn't experience the Gallery 12 in person, we created an A/R app specifically designed for Microsoft Hololens and Apple iOS11 ARKit. Consumers could use the app to activate an educational experience highlighting the flavor notes and make-up of both The Macallan Sherry Oak 12 Years Old and The Macallan Double Cask 12 Years Old.
Additionally, there was a social and paid digital strategy wrapped around this campaign, targeting both whisky drinkers as well as art lovers. We wanted this experience to be agnostic enough from the whisky that art and even tech lovers would want to experience it for themselves.
Within the first month of the experience, we achieved strong results both in getting our product in the hands of our target consumer in a memorable, experiential way; as well as getting national reach and awareness of the program to the many millions of consumers who weren't able to visit our art experience.
Some of the key results included:
115 million media impressions
5.1k brand and hashtag mentions on social
1.7 million ARKit App impressions
2.1 million total social reach
110k video views on social
38k social engagements
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