- Crown Royal applied 3D printing technology to generate an "immersive block party" for ads promoting a new line of canned cocktails, according to a news release.
- The Diageo-owned whisky brand scanned a primary cast at several locations, including Ukraine, Spain, Los Angeles and Toronto, to develop 3D models that serve as the setting for "A Whole New World of Cocktails." In the creative appearing across connected TV, digital, social and out-of-home channels, buildings have been swapped out for giant cans of Crown Royal Washington Apple, Peach Tea and Whisky & Cola, while digital avatars of people celebrate at a block party, in living rooms and across rooftops.
- Partners include Toronto-based rapper DijahSB, whose latest single release, "So Good," coincides with the campaign launch and soundtracks the ad, as well as gaming creator Erin Ashley Simon, who recently worked with Crown Royal on a Facebook series called "The Crown Crossover" that is focused on gaming, sports and music.
Crown Royal's latest marketing effort nods to the metaverse — a buzzword referring to online spaces that bridge the real world with virtual ones — while throwing a spotlight on new ready-to-drink (RTD) canned cocktail offerings. The campaign speaks to how marketers are tapping nascent technology to experiment with creative concepts and address potential production challenges stemming from the pandemic.
After scanning its primary cast and various locations around the globe, Crown Royal used 3D printing to build sets that were hand-painted and assembled for the advertisements. A secondary cast is made up of ready-to-print 3D models, including non-human assets like cats and dogs, that help to populate "A Whole New World of Cocktails." The Diageo marketer in the announcement said that the ads would be complemented by a "fully immersive experiential platform."
Marketers are increasingly turning to shared virtual spaces to recapture the appeal of experiential marketing that is harder to pull off due to COVID-19 restrictions. Gaming platforms like Roblox and Fortnite over the past year have become common venues to tease products or put on events that seek to replicate the feeling of an in-person gathering, but with digital perks.
Even as brands jump onto the metaverse trend in greater numbers, mainstream recognition of the concept remains fairly low. Just 38% of surveyed global consumers are familiar with the metaverse, according to Wunderman Thompson Intelligence research. Yet the report also found that two-thirds of respondents prefer to engage brands digitally, suggesting there's a strong appetite for such hybrid activations.
For Crown Royal, toying with virtual spaces could be a bid to reach new consumer groups. The whisky label is working closely with a pro gamer and rapper that might connect with younger crowds that display a strong affinity for the RTD category. RTD sales in the U.S. jumped 62.3% year-on-year in 2020, largely led by the strength of hard seltzer, per an IWSR Drinks Market Analysis report.