Sick of the holidays? Wish the entire concept of politics would just go away? Ketel One would like to treat you to a quick excursion to the Netherlands (albeit a virtual one). The vodka brand is the latest in a parade of major booze brands from Jim Beam to Dos Equis to Patron to jump on virtual reality as a marketing tool.
While it remains to be seen how effective VR will be for sales, it’s worth noting that Ketel One is doing one thing right with their version: They’re giving people the equipment to view the damn thing at home. The in-bar “on premise” campaigns that seem to be the default method companies use to show off these fancy toys have always seemed antithetical to the communal bar experience. Few things are more isolating than walking into a big crowd, then strapping electronics to your face.
So rather than make you wait in line for the privilege of being alone in a crowd when you’re supposed to be hanging out with your friends, Ketel One is instead hanging 80,000 Google Cardboard-style VR viewers on the necks of its 1.75ml size Ketel One bottles in liquor stores across the U.S. (bottles with VR viewers cost the same as a standard bottle). And sure, you can think of this like getting a free low-end VR headset with a bottle of vodka. Or you can choose to see the truth we indulge in at Supercall: You’re buying an overpriced VR headset—but it comes with a free bottle of vodka.
Once assembled, getting to Ketel One’s custom VR experience is as easy as navigating to vr.ketelone.com. Once there, you can take a tour of Ketel’s bottling plant, explore the town of Scheidam (where Ketel One began and still operates), and get a quick drinks-mixing lesson from bartending legend Dale DeGroff.
The viewer will also work with any other cardboard-compatible VR apps, but we don't recommend taking too many roller coaster rides once you get into that big bottle of Ketel.