- Sparkling Ice debuted voice apps for Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa as part of the zero-calorie drink's update to its packaging and ingredients. The "Sparkling IceMaker" voice-powered apps serve up cocktail and mocktail recipes for people to make at home, according to a press release shared with Mobile Marketer.
- Consumers can customize the recipe recommendations based on their favorite flavor of Sparkling Ice and the spirits they have at home. The brand's relaunch also includes a social media campaign that uses hashtags #SparklingIceLife, #NATRLLY and #GetFizzy.
- Sparkling Ice's marketing push is part of parent company Talking Rain Beverage's introduction of a new product formula that has naturally sourced colors and flavors, along with an updated logo and packaging. Sparkling Ice conducted market research and sensory testing with over 8,000 consumers in the past two years to develop the formula.
Voice apps are steadily becoming a popular way for mobile marketers to tell a brand story, deepen customer engagement and deliver personalized information based on an individual user. Sparkling Ice's apps for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, the two most popular digital assistants on smart speakers, can help to reach customers while they're in their kitchen or living room and need their hands free to concoct drinks while listening to verbal directions.
A number of spirits brands have previously experimented with voice platforms to provide drink recipes and other product information. Diageo last year debuted an Alexa app that offered verbal cocktail recommendations for its brands, including Johnnie Walker, Crown Royal and Smirnoff. Pernod Ricard UK similarly introduced the "What Cocktail?" skill for the Amazon Show, the voice-enabled device with a video screen, to let users both listen to the recipe and view visuals of what the final drink would look like. In December 2017, Moët Hennessy created a "Bottles and Bubbles" skill on Alexa to teach consumers about champagne and how to create their own cocktail experiences at home.
The growth in brands' voice-powered cocktail features comes amid steady sales of smart speakers and consumer adoption of virtual assistants. Smart speaker ownership surged 36% in 2018 to 53 million adults, per a survey from National Public Radio (NPR) and Edison Research, allowing marketers greater opportunities to reach consumers in their homes and provide convenient features that can deepen engagement and nurture positive associations with the brand.