- Patrón tequila is working with startup Barsys to sell limited-edition "smart coaster" kits to help home bartenders mix the perfect margarita. The drink coasters connect to smartphones through the Barsys Coaster app and provide a step-by-step guide on measuring each cocktail ingredient as it is poured, according to a press release. Users place a cocktail shaker on the coaster and it blinks green when it's time to add the next ingredient.
- The Patrón Margarita Smart Coaster by Barsys is available for $149 from TheBarsys website, which can also be found by visiting Patrontequila.com. Each kit includes a smart coaster, two rocks glasses, a custom Patrón-branded salt rimmer, lime squeezer and cocktail shaker. The kit doesn't include a bottle of tequila, which can be purchased separately from the Patrón website.
- The Bacardi-owned tequila maker's site also has a video tutorial demonstrating how to make a margarita. Patrón will keep its cocktail recipes on its site after the limited-edition smart coasters sell out, per its announcement.
With many bars and restaurants either closed or operating at lower capacity because of the coronavirus pandemic, Patrón aims to inspire consumers to make their favorite cocktails at home. By collaborating with Barsys on a branded smart coaster, Patrón can give customers the tools they need to mix fool-proof margaritas. The marketing effort also demonstrates how Internet of Things (IoT) technology is finding its way into people's homes as they connect more devices to apps or the internet.
Patrón's co-marketing effort on a smart coaster follows other campaigns that incorporate the latest technologies and media platforms to engage younger consumers. For Cinco de Mayo, Patrón created a "virtual bar" on photo-sharing app Instagram that connected consumers with bartenders for conversations and tutorials about making margaritas. The Instagram Live activation included partnerships with delivery companies like Drizly and local restaurants to sell ready-made cocktails for pickup. Previously, Patrón has included mobile technology in campaigns such as its Amazon Alexa "Ask Patrón" skill for cocktail recipes and tequila facts, and a "Bot-Tender" chatbot on Twitter.
While there are signs that consumers are returning to their pre-pandemic habits as lockdowns are lifted, sales of spirits outside of bars and restaurants remain elevated. Spirits sales were up 25% in mid-June from a year earlier, ahead of the 20% gain for wine and 11% increase for beer, according to Nielsen's off-premise sales data cited by Wine Industry Advisor. Tequila has been a strong seller throughout the pandemic, and saw a 54% jump in early May as revelers prepared for Cinco de Mayo celebrations, MarketWatch reported.