“Man, I can’t enjoy my drink in peace without being bombarded by these virtual reality liquor advertisements.” This sounds like a sentence straight out of a Douglas Adams novel, but the future is now. Liquor brands are taking advantage of Oculus Rift technology to let consumers experience a virtual reality universe. Sounds pretty cool, except the catch is that you’ll likely be watching a glorified three-dimensional advertisement for Jim Beam or Dos Equis.
Jim Beam has already created their virtual reality experience, which takes you on a Willy Wonka-esque journey through the bourbon-making process, from floating down the flowing brown river inside the barrel to eventually being catapulted out into a bottle or shot glass, according to Ad Week. The experience ends with the scent of Jim Beam filling your nostrils as a piece of paper soaked in bourbon is held under your nose. Sounds a bit like a tipsy MK-Ultra experiment to us. The Dos Equis advertisement shows consumers an extended scene of the iconic Most Interesting Man in the World at a party; the spot debuted last year during Halloween.
But don’t be too nervous; advertising experts aren’t sure if tipsy bar customers are ready for virtual reality.
“I think that virtual reality could be the next form of in-bar entertainment for liquor brands, but I hope it isn't, mostly from a personal standpoint — due to the risks involved with having folks with a few drinks in them using the new technology and not being aware of their real-world surroundings," Vincent Au, vice president of experience design at Rokkan ad agency, said.