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Heineken makes our beer bottle a connected device

Why would you want your consumers buried in their iPhones, unaware of their surroundings, when you can have them staring at your product instead?

Heineken announced recently that they are sponsoring events with typical DJ’s spinning the typical dance music but also with wirelessly connected beer bottles that become part of the show. The bottles respond when people take a drink and flash to the beat of the music when they don’t. An unfinished bottle left alone slowly dims until it is ‘forgotten’.

Taking it one step further, at the Cochella music festival in Southern California, campers can stash their Heinekens in cold storage using their finger prints as identification to retrieve their ‘personalized’ bottles. What better way to sell beer than to have your fans interacting with the beer bottle itself?

The product is the device

Event-driven marketing is about advertisers and marketers being able to know their audience in the moment and to react to the ambient circumstances that surround their consumers. When beer bottles become part of event-based marketing, we know there’s been a paradigm shift. It opens up a world of possibilities.

The campaign is called Heineken Ignite and represents a fascinating new way to look at product marketing. Gizmag describes the new Heineken bottle’s capability this way:

Clinking two of them together for a toast causes them both to light up simultaneously, while taking a drink causes the LEDs to flicker rapidly. Setting one of them down for a moment will also trigger a sleep mode, where it slowly dims until it’s picked up again. The lights can even be controlled remotely to have them match up with a musical beat, turning a party into a synchronized light show.

When we talk about the Internet of Things, how often do we think of those ‘things’ as not just sensors, but as the products we buy and use? Why can’t our baby stroller tell us where the best deal on diapers can be found? What if our dog’s collar can tell us when the dog park is open or directions to the nearest PetSmart?

We centralize data on our smartphones but for how long? As a consumer, it makes me pause when I consider the long-term value of the mobile device. As a technology marketer, it makes me wonder how much investment I should make in any particular channel, knowing that just about anything can be the interface to the customer. Kudos to Heineken for showing me  the ‘light’.

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