Guinness is developing a taste for virtual reality

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  • Guinness has launched an innovative experiential marketing campaign in supermarkets across the UK, which will see consumers sample three different Guinness beverages while immersed in a virtual reality world of colours, shapes and sounds that have been specifically designed to enhance and accentuate each beer’s flavour. 

    The VR marketing campaign, which has been designed and developed by the advertising agency R/GA London, will run in Tesco stores throughout the UK, with shoppers encouraged to don a VR headset before they sip their sample of Guinness Draft, West Indies Porter or Hop House 13 Lager. 

    The virtual reality sequences feature a series of abstract shapes and colours tailored to each beverage, while the voice of Peter Simpson, the master brewer at The Guinness Open Gate Brewery in Dublin, guides the user through the experience and lets them know when they should taste and smell each beer.

    Alex Wills, managing director of R/GA Studios, said: “VR technology is increasingly becoming a viable new media platform for brands and agencies that are looking for powerful ways to impact on branded storytelling. We’re really excited to have partnered with Guinness on a campaign that uses VR not as a gimmick or a ‘first’, but for what the technology was actually designed to do: suspend the senses and transport you to another place”.

    Professor Charles Spence, who serves as Professor of Experimental Psychology at Oxford University and specialises in how food stimulates the senses, worked with the Guinness and R/GA London teams to ensure the colours, shapes, textures and sounds in the VR sequences are attuned to the specific flavour of each beer. For example, the sharp grapefruit aroma of Hop House 13 is enhanced by a VR sequence that features a series of angular shapes in bright colours, accompanied by high-pitched sounds designed to accentuate the bitterness of the beer.

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