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Scottish drinks firm first in the UK to launch full augmented reality gin range

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Customers will experience an all-new immersive augmented reality concept when they pick up their next bottle of gin – and download the app.

A Stirlingshire spirits firm has launched the UK’s first fully augmented reality gin range via their new app.

McQueen Gin based in Callander has revealed the new addition which will give customers a fully immersive drinking experience at home with all six core range bottles.

Founders Dale and Vicky McQueen adopted the new technology to bring a little joy and happiness into their customers lives at a time when families and friends cannot meet up with one another due to the current coronavirus restrictions.

To see the bottle come to life, all customers need to do is scan the label via the new app. Each bottle showcases hidden secrets of McQueen Gin with a unique full-length animation.

Founded in 2015, Dale and Vicky McQueen started the company with the intention of developing a gin-drinking experience unlike any other and have gained world-first titles and won multiple awards for their products.

They have now stepped into the marketplace as one of the first drinks brands in the UK to make their full core range

Augmented reality

Revealing the new technology today, Dale says he has been looking forward to launching the animations and can’t wait for customers to enjoy them, too.

Dale McQueen of McQueen gin.

Dale said: “My marketing guy had mentioned augmented reality to me around a year ago. He showed me some stuff people had created and I thought it looked really cool. I was really interested what we could do for McQueen. We’ve always set out to be different from everyone else and we wanted to do something edgy so felt this was the perfect thing.

“Over the past two years we’ve taken time to reinvent ourselves and streamlined our 17 gins we were selling into our core range, so we now just have six bottles in it. We won the world’s best gin design with our ceramic bottles, but we needed to make the gin more commercially viable and so decided to change to a glass bottle and wrap it with a design.

“I wanted to make our bottle stand out from the crowd, and the fact people can have an immersive experience as a result of this technology will definitely be something different and new for our customers.

The colour changing gin.

“It was probably a six month process to pull it together. We knew what we wanted to do before we started, but it was just pulling everything together and making sure we were happy with the animations that we spent more time on.”

Scottish gin scene

A leader regarding the Scottish gin scene, Dale’s passion for innovation and being different led him down the path of discovering augmented reality for fun. It will also be used as an educational platform, however stresses that this is more for enjoyment as his customers are sophisticated drinkers and know enough about the brand already.

He added: “I know firms like Diageo have toyed with it, and Bombay Sapphire and Jamieson whisky, but there was no one really doing something like it in the Scottish gin scene. We didn’t want it to just be videos of people making gin-based cocktails or talking about gin, we didn’t want to patronise our customers as they are sophisticated gin drinkers and know what they will want to drink or how they will want to drink our spirits.

The citron McQueen gin bottle.

“We decided to just make it an entertainment thing – more about spreading joy and a bit of fun amongst people just now. We created an app which you have to download to see the animations through. Each one is individual to the different flavour of gin.”

‘The voiceover is very David Attenborough-esque’

Playing with a range of colours and introducing augmented characters Dale believes McQueen gin fans will enjoy the animations and the new app which will boast a range of discounts and information which is also available on the website.

“The colour changing gin bottle takes you into a mad scientist’s lab where they are making up potions in test tubes. It is very tongue in cheek and is just a bit of fun really! There’s one which will have a maverick lemon who is a cartoon character who wears sunglasses and rides a motorcycle,” said Dale.

“The Highland rye one is a much more serious animation and there’s a voiceover speaking to you. The voiceover is very David Attenborough-esque. There’s another which is confetti everywhere and heaps of things going on – that one is really all about when we can finally be together after Covid-19 restrictions have lifted and it is safe to get together.

“They are all very individual and good fun. You’ll just need to try them all out to find your favourite. We will also have exclusive discounts on the app so there’s that for customers to look forward to as well.”

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