19 Crimes Wine: Augmented Reality Advertising Done Well

Posted on December 20, 2018

The Augmented Reality revolution first came to the public under the guise of Pokemon Go. People everywhere downloaded the game, stampeding through church parking lots and angry people’s homes to seek out the AR pocket monsters. Pokemon Go was a phenomenon, to say the least. However, Pokemon Go was absolutely created with children in mind as the target audience. Adults could play, and many did, but at the end of the day, Pokemon always has been and will be something kids enjoy. What about adults? How do you get them to join in on augmented reality? Following the teachings of Roman author Pliny the Elder, one company realized that “in wine, there is truth.”

19 Crimes Wine debuted in 2012, giving customers the opportunity to witness true crimes brought back to life. By downloading the 19 Crimes app, consumers can scan their bottles of wine to bring criminals to life. 

Perpetrators of the 19 Crimes were sent to Australia rather than the gallows.

The AR presentation is eery, but wickedly effective in creating buzz. Try to scan one of these and not tell your friends about it. Many people did that, resulting in a sales boom for the company. “…as of 2017 they’ve shipped over one million cases and the brands grew 60% in volume sales and 70% in value, according to Better Retailing.”

This speaks to the power of viral marketing. For science, I sampled some of the 19 Crimes Wine and found the flavor to be … worthy of being deported to Australia. Perhaps this is due to the fact that my 23 year old pallet has much to learn, but either way, the marketing worked because I bought the wine, and will probably recommend it because of the super-effective AR experience. 

Pokemon Go and 19 Crimes Wine are just precursors to what could be with augmented reality marketing. Companies have already begun employing AR to wild success. This is a lesson your store can learn. By early adopting technology and implementing it into your marketing, you can generate a huge buzz, whether your product is tasty or not.