The Macallan AR app offers a peek into the whisky-making process, starting with the two types of oak trees used to make aging casks

To market two types of 12-year-old whisky, Scotch brand The Macallan developed an augmented reality app for Apple's iOS 11. When focused on one of the bottles, the app launches an animation on the making of the whiskies, starting with the American and European oak trees used to make the casks in which the whiskies are aged for variations in color and flavor.

At a New York pop-up on October 19, visitors could walk through the AR experience in a gallery setting. Sculptures representing different steps of the whisky-making process activated narration and animations, visible through Microsoft HoloLens glasses supplied at the entrance. In an adjacent room, bartenders served the two whiskies—Sherry Oak and Double Cask—in cocktails and on their own.

The Macallan AR app, which translates the pop-up experience for customers at home, works as both an eye-catching ad and an engaging means to educate consumers about the product. It adds to the growing number of alcohol marketing efforts that combine bottle labels with AR to evoke an ambiance or tell a story. Recently, Australian wine brand 19 Crimes used AR with its label art to animate talking portraits of 18th-century convicts, while Washington State’s Snoqualmie Brewery brought the image of a waterfall on its beer bottles to life.

In addition to the New York pop-up, The Macallan gallery experience appeared in Miami in October and will travel to Chicago, Houston and San Francisco on November 1, 8 and 15, respectively.

The Macallan

To market two types of 12-year-old whisky, Scotch brand The Macallan developed an augmented reality app for Apple's iOS 11. When focused on one of the bottles, the app launches an animation on the making of the whiskies, starting with the American and European oak trees used to make the casks in which the whiskies are aged for variations in color and flavor.

At a New York pop-up on October 19, visitors could walk through the AR experience in a gallery setting. Sculptures representing different steps of the whisky-making process activated narration and animations, visible through Microsoft HoloLens glasses supplied at the entrance. In an adjacent room, bartenders served the two whiskies—Sherry Oak and Double Cask—in cocktails and on their own.