Alcohol brands create VR cocktail experiences

Brands are leveraging VR technology to do everything from enhance in-store shopping to address global and social issues, sometimes garnering Super Bowl-sized audiences in the process. The latest such efforts from alcohol brands add a physical layer to VR marketing with the launch of immersive cocktail experiences with virtual twist.


Following the success of its Bombay Sapphire virtual reality experience at London Heathrow, Bacardi expanded the program to Sydney airport. The month-long campaign let travelers sample The Ultimate Bombay and Tonic and partake in a VR fly-through of the brand’s Laverstoke Mill in the UK using Oculus Rift headwear. In addition to providing people with instructions on how to make the perfect gin and tonic at home, tip-cards also highlighted the top 10 bars in Sydney to enjoy a Bombay and tonic. Gin has seen double-digit growth in Australia with more than one-third of the growth being driven by Bombay Sapphire. 


The "Origin" cocktail served at London's One Aldwych Hotel is made with 12-year-old Dalmore whiskey and comes with an atypical pairing: a virtual reality headset. Patrons who order the drink don the gear and are transported to the brand’s distillery in Scotland, where they soar above the fields and brooks where the ingredients used in the distillation process are sourced. The experience concludes with a virtual flight back to the hotel’s Lobby Bar, where a bartender whips up the cocktail for the guest to taste.


Whisky brand Glenfiddich staged a virtual reality tasting experience in Singapore at the TFWA travel retail conference. Using HTC Vive technology, the interactive Glenfiddich Virtual Infinity experience let visitors sample the brand’s three Cask Collection whiskies and write their own 3D tasting notes within a virtual world. Guests were encouraged to identify the key tasting notes of each expression before putting on their VR headsets, at which point they were virtually transported to Glenfiddich's warehouse in Scotland to watch how the magic happens.