On the heels of Apple's announcement of the next generation iPhone, powered by iOS 11 with ARKit, Patrón Tequila is taking iPhone users on an interactive journey to its home in Jalisco, Mexico. Titled The Patrón Experience," this newly released, augmented reality platform heralds the next frontier in experiential marketing and gives tequila connoisseurs and curious consumers a portal to the Hacienda Patrón distillery where they can learn about the unique characteristics and aging process of ultra-premium tequila with the tap of a finger.
"The Patrón Experience" distinguishes Patrón as one of the first brands to make full use of this advancement in augmented reality technology, leveraging the unique capabilities of iOS 11 and the A11 Bionic Neural engine. This technology brings consumers to the grounds of the Patrón Hacienda and offers an in-depth look at Patrón's range of handcrafted, ultra-premium tequilas; including Patrón Silver, Patrón Reposado, Patrón Añejo, and the newly-released Patrón Extra Añejo – the first extension to the brand's core tequila range in 25 years and the longest-aged expression in the line. The addition of Patrón Extra Añejo signals an evolution in the palates of tequila consumers globally, as aged tequila styles now rival those of the world's finest bourbons, scotches and cognacs. The AR experience brought to life around each tequila, communicates these nuances to consumers while igniting augmented reality to blur the lines between our ordinary world and the beautiful Mexican landscape, evocative of Patrón's home in the Highlands of Jalisco.
"With this platform, we are once again rewriting the rules for how consumers engage with ultra-premium spirits, and providing a new, highly interactive educational tool for them to learn about what they're drinking," said Lee Applbaum, Patrón's Global Chief Marketing Officer. "Our goal with any technology we develop is to further elevate the way consumers interact with Patrón. Innovative technology for us is a means to an end as opposed to an end in and of itself, and this is philosophically very important as we are constantly evaluating a range of new ideas and technologies. With this project specifically, we wanted to break down the barriers of physical space between consumers and the Patrón Hacienda, and also offer a transparent window into our products - from the way we harvest agave to how we craft the liquid in each bottle."
The journey begins when users download and launch "The Patrón Experience" from the Apple App Store, where they'll encounter a single Weber Blue Agave plant. By planting the agave in its "field" (any flat surface viewable through the phone's camera system), they trigger a flourishing landscape of agave, lush greenery, and a lifelike model of the Patrón Hacienda where Patrón Tequila is produced and bottled. As the experience unfolds, consumers encounter life-size bottles of Patrón expressions accompanied by a bartender vignette. With a tap on the phone, the bartender provides a guided explanation of the tasting notes and barrel aging process (where applicable) for each featured product, while ARKit's unique ability to sense and respond to the user's environment creates an immersive and dynamic view, blending the physical and digital worlds.
Patrón, known for pioneering the ultra-premium tequila category, is no stranger to experiential marketing and education. Always seeking to connect tequila and those who enjoy it, Patrón was one of the first brands to create an immersive virtual reality journey with the "Art of Patrón Virtual Reality Experience," in 2015. Simultaneously, Patrón developed cutting-edge, voice-enabled technology to make its "Cocktail Lab" library of recipes more accessible to consumers through a custom skill in the Alexa app on Amazon Echo. This development has since evolved to "Bot-Tender," an Artificial Intelligence-powered cocktail recommendation chatbot available through Twitter Direct Message, Facebook Messenger, and patrontequila.com.
"Virtual reality allowed us to bring consumers to Hacienda Patrón, and voice-enabled technology gave consumers easy access to hundreds of unique and inventive Patrón cocktail recipes. This new and emerging augmented reality tool will now enable consumers to truly make the experience at Hacienda Patrón their own using hardware they already have, with sights, sounds and interesting information directly from our home in Mexico," shared Applbaum. "We look forward to evolving with this technology as it grows and becomes a fixture in our ever-changing, technology-driven lifestyle."
About Patrón Tequila
From hand-harvesting the highest-quality 100 percent Weber Blue Agave, to the traditional, time-honored distillation process and individual labeling, numbering, and inspection of each bottle, Patrón tequila is crafted with meticulous precision and care. Though Patrón has grown to become one of the most-recognized and respected luxury spirits brands in the world, it is still exclusively produced in the Highlands of Jalisco, Mexico, in the same small batches and with the same commitment to quality and craftsmanship. For more information about Patrón tequilas and liqueurs, please visit www.patrontequila.com.