Guinness tantalises Tesco shoppers with VR tasting experience

Guinness tantalises Tesco shoppers with VR tasting experience

Guinness is to begin pulling virtual pints within the unlikely setting of Tesco stores nationwide as part of the Irish brewers latest ruse to introduce its latest line of beers to an unsuspecting populace; namely the West Indies Porter, Hop House 13 Lager and Guinness Draft.

Rather than simply throw up a rickety tasting booth under the harsh glare of strip lights and the tannoy cacophony of your typical supermarket Guinness has instead crafted an immersive 360-degree video to transport each drinker into a world of ‘colours, shapes and sound’ which Guinness claims is ‘scientifically proven’ to enhance flavours.

Guiding participants through their virtual reality pint is Peter Simpson, master brewer at The Guinness Open Gate, who serves as narrator and guide to help people make sense of what they see and taste.

Adding to this experience will be an ‘intelligent cup’ with the brains to do more than temporarily store your drink, with an inbuilt Aduino chip adjusting a suite if sensory stimuli based on movements.

Alex Wills, managing director content studio at R/GA London, which collaborated with Guinness to build the system from the ground up, said: “VR technology is increasingly becoming a viable new media platform for brands and agencies that are looking for powerful ways to impact on branded storytelling. We’re really excited to have partnered with Guinness on a campaign that uses VR not as a gimmick or a ‘first’, but for what the technology was actually designed to do: suspend the senses and transport you to another place”

Imparting a degree of academic repute to proceedings is professor Charles Spence, a food and flavor scientist at Oxford University, drafted in to ensure that the colors, textures, movements and sounds are attuned to the specific flavor of each beer.

The experience will take place in selected Tesco stores from this month, with international Guinness fans getting their own tasting sessions later in the year.

Guinness is on a mission to make the iconic stout the 'most popular beer in the world' but has acknowledged that it cannot rely on TV to attain that goal.

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John Glenday

John Glenday is responsible for compiling The Drum's daily morning bulletin and ensuring that overnight breaking news is covered while you're still brushing your teeth. Can also make a mean cup of tea.

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