Guinness enhances taste of beer with VR experience

Dive Brief:

  • Guinness is using a virtual reality (VR) experience to introduce shoppers at the U.K. grocer Tesco to its latest line of beers, according to The Drum.
  • The experience is designed to transport viewers into a world of colors, shapes and sound — an environment Guinness says is "scientifically proven" to enhance flavors, per The Drum. The 360-degree video is narrated by Peter Simpson, master brewer at The Guinness Open Gate, and was created with the help of content studio R/GA London. 
  • Tesco shoppers can also drink Guinness' latest line of beers — including its West Indies Porter, Hop House 13 Lager and Guinness Draft — out of what The Drum called an "intelligent cup" that has multi-sensory stimuli that respond to movement while they watch. 

Dive Insight:

While VR tech is still early days and marketers are understandably sorting out how it fits into their broader strategies, many forecasts point toward the technology becoming a major piece of a number of sectors, with retail leading the way. Guinness' campaign spotlights how VR can be leveraged, not for a traditional marketing effort, but instead to enhance a sensory product experience that could help drive sampling efforts. 

Guinness isn't just grandstanding when it says VR flavor enhancements are backed by science: The Drum reported the brand tapped Oxford University food and flavor expert Charles Spence to take the creative to the next level. 

The International Data Corporation (IDC) updated its AR/VR forecast in February to predict an overall 130.5% increase in VR and augmented reality spending this year, with spending in retail to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 238.7%, putting it ahead of discrete manufacturing as the top industry by spend in 2020.

IKEA is another retail brand experimenting with VR through a kitchen showroom that lets users flip virtual pancakes and use a "kitchen visualizer" to plan remodeling efforts in an immersive environment.

Filed Under: Marketing Tech Video Corporate News
Top image credit: Matthias