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Medea Vodka lights up party with iBeacon-flavored bottle messages

Medea Vodka, known for its programmable LED displays integrated onto its bottles, is leveraging Apple?s iBeacon Bluetooth technology to let consumers program personal messages on bottles from mobile devices.

Owners can program their bottle to say whatever they want, including phrases such as "I love you," or "Will You Marry Me?" or, maybe just "Let's Party!" The feature underscores how mobile can be used to enhance engagement with an activity that occurs only in a physical location, such as alcohol consumption.

?Presently, a Medea bottle to be customized must be programmed by punching in each character of a message manually,? said Brandon Laidlaw, founder/CEO of Medea Vodka. ?The new generation LED band will alleviate the need to manually perform this function.   

?Many potential customers have requested a quicker, easier method to program the bottles,? he said. ?Additionally, the new app will allow bottles to communicate, thus creating a truly social interaction.? 

Programming seamlessly
The technology will be showcased at the Nightclub & Bar Convention & Trade Show , in the Emerging Brands Pavilion in Las Vegas, March 31-April 1.

Brown-Forman's Jack Daniels brand in mobile promotion.

The new Medea mobile application seamlessly programs the bottles, and allows consumers to literally have a say in what they are drinking, broadening the activity?s social component.

Users and brands alike can program messages from social to marketing-centric content to fit every occasion. The bottle is pre-programmed with six familiar phrases such as "Happy Birthday," "Congratulations" and "Thank you" that crawl across the label in electric blue. 

The Medea app lets the user know what bottles are nearby without having to connect or find every Bluetooth-enabled device. 

The app knows at all times which bottles are on, available to be registered, and are ready to receive instructions for setting and displaying messages.
The ability to share a conversation among friends, through bottles, brings imbibing even deeper into the social realm. Not only can one share access to a Medea bottle with friends to change, modify or add messages, but he or she also can directly post to a social media application, including Facebook, Twitter and personal email accounts. 

By connecting to the nearest unregistered bottle in range, the app ensures that only the user and those with whom he or she is sharing a personal bottle have access. Once registered to a phone, the bottle cannot be accessed by another.

Other wine and spirits companies are leveraging mobile to drive engagement and sales.

At last week?s 2015 Mobile Marketing Association Forum New York, Jason Loehr, vice president and director of global media and digital marketing for Brown-Forman, talked about how the company is using mobile to help drive patrons to the bar, reach drinking-age millennials and connect with consumers.

The session emphasized mobile?s ability to bring together the diverse elements of the value chain, including production, marketing and the provision of after-sales service.

Mr. Loehr talked about Brown-Forman?s work with Foursquare over the last year and how it is transforming the brand?s marketing strategy with mobile.

One campaign last summer served Foursquare users el Jimador tequila mobile ads in response to their searches for a tavern or other liquor-carrying establishment where they could watch the World Cup soccer tournament.

Investing in mobile
Constellation Brands, a leading premium wine company, invests 25 percent of its wine and spirits marketing budget on digital, with a particular focus on mobile given that wine drinkers tend to be heavy users of these devices.

Medea illuminates imbibing on mobile.
?In a nightclub atmosphere, multiple bottles could be programmed and used to showcase a new cocktail, last call, featured music or entertainment,? Mr. Laidlaw said of the marketing opportunities in the Medea initiative. ?In the corporate world, bottles may be used at conventions, to advertise their products and provide messages to conference/convention attendees.
?The data analytics of the company will be collected by the user's email and social media,? he said. ?Of course, when users sign up there will be a disclosure in the terms and services agreement.?

Final Take
Michael Barris is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York