Diageo sold a bottle of The Singleton whisky to one in five people who tried a virtual reality experience, created by Untitled Project.
According to the brand, 85% of consumers found the VR journey, hosted in Singapore at the Marina Bay Sands’ Epicurean Market last year, enhanced their whisky tasting experience.
The experience was a two minute VR video, which used storyboarding, script-writing, animation, CGI and rendering, to take viewers to the Glen Ord distillery and “into the cask” to experience the flavours of The Singleton.
Simon Cheape, global marketing manager for The Singleton, told The Drum that once they tried the experience, they didn’t see using VR as a risky channel: “At Diageo we are constantly looking for ways to bring new, exciting experiences to our consumers. Our idea was to introduce The Singleton and single malt whisky to consumers in an accessible, fun and interactive way. The VR transported consumers to Scotland and inside the distillery for a whisky immersion like they’ve never had before.”
The campaign wasn’t the first use of virtual reality by Diageo, according to Cheape, and the results weren’t a surprise because it was founded on a strong insight.
“We were delighted by the results, but I wouldn’t say surprised. We’ve used VR on other brands in Diageo with success as well. It just highlights when you get a powerful insight, develop a good idea and execute it brilliantly, consumers will really connect with it. It proved to be a powerful sales generator and a great way to create talkability.
“Our idea was born from an insight from an Oxford University study we commissioned on The Singleton that showed consumers are ~20% more likely to taste and appreciate the flavours in whisky with a sensory immersion. So as opposed to reading about what whisky tastes like or having it explained to you, you could see, smell and taste the flavours in The Singleton yourself. The technology was brilliantly executed – much more real life than you’d expect!” he added.
According to Cheape,The Singleton VR will continue to be rolled out across other markets around the world and that “We’ve shared our learnings around the business, so I expect this and other cutting-edge experiences to be employed by other Diageo brands in the future.”