In a crowded beer marketplace, a quality product, vivid packaging or an active social media presence often are not enough for a company to capture consumers’ attention. Now more than ever, both established companies and early-stage craft breweries are turning to new technology to help them cut through the noise.
One way that beer companies are trying to stand out is through the use of augmented reality (AR) technology. AR’s image recognition technology allows brands to animate their already existing packaging using an app or webpage, making everything from a singing striped bass to an 18th-century convict come to life on phone screens.
For some established brands, augmented reality provides an easy opportunity to entertain and connect socially with consumers.
“It’s a packaging innovation without touching our packaging,” said Matt Lafferty, associate marketing manager for MillerCoors’ Miller Lite brand.
Miller Lite’s first foray into web-based AR was created exclusively for St. Patrick’s Day last month. By pointing a smartphone at a Miller Lite label, drinkers could see a bearded Irishman dance alongside holiday-themed packaging.
“Augmented reality was just seen as a logical next step to help celebrate the occasion and interact with fellow aficionados in an authentic way,” Lafferty said.
According to Lafferty, the company was testing the technology, and the primary goal with the AR experience was to “add to the fun.”