A spooky new label suggests a tipping point

Sunday, 28. October 2018 - 14:45

Augmented reality wine labels have hit the mainstream, with the release of a new Merlot in time for Halloween. Bloody Merlot, from Romania, went on sale last week at Penny in Germany and Austria for €2.99. Developed to celebrate the spooky season, the wine has an animated label—customers who have downloaded the V-Player app and who pass their phone over the label will be able to see lightning strikes and bats flying.

Bloody Merlot, created by Penny in conjunction with Mack & Schüle in Germany, is the latest wine to take advantage of the augmented reality technology. The first was Millennial brand 19 Crimes from Treasury Wine Estates (TWE), whose ‘living label’ was released in 2017. To see historic figures speak, consumers simply had to download the Living Wine Labels app and scan the label.

Other animated labels were quick to follow, many from TWE’s stable, including Matua, Gentleman’s Collection, and EmBRAZEN, which have notable women on their labels. Another significant entrant to the category was The Walking Dead labels from The Last Wine Company, a partnership between Skybound Entertainment and TWE. Then came MENSA from South Africa.

In other words, wine is now moving into the entertainment category.

“I am of the opinion that wine needs to target younger audiences and use technology to get them more interested,” says Philip Cox, commercial director, Cramele Recas, the winery that produced the wine. “This is a way to do that, sidestepping the traditional regional/country category-oriented wine trade.”

The label took less than a month to create and used the help of a 3D animation specialist. The wine is sold with a neck tag explaining how to download the relevant app. It is on sale in Germany and Austria.

Given the ease with which such labels can now be created, consumers can expect ever more wines to talk to them.
Felicity Carter