- 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.
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.