LONDON: Malibu, Pernod Ricard's coconut rum brand, is about to launch a campaign that will test the growing UK consumer trend of contactless transactions.

As part of its "Because Summer" campaign, Malibu is rolling out 40,000 connected bottles across Tesco stores in early September and the company expects to gain valuable insight into how consumers react to the new technology.

As reported by Marketing Week, the bottles are fitted with near-field communication (NFC) technology, which allows users with NFC-enabled Android phones to tap onto the Malibu "sunset" logo to access a microsite offering exclusive content, such as a holiday prize draw, drinks recipes, music playlists and a bar locator.

Because the initiative depends on NFC technology, the innovative element is that consumers do not have to download an app and instead should be able to go directly to the content.

"We have identified an opportunity to use our bottles as media platforms, we are trying to find ways to connect with consumers more intimately," said Jo Alexander, Malibu Marketing Manager at Pernod Ricard UK.

"By turning bottles into vehicles that directly connect to consumers' phones, we are providing added value," she continued.

The campaign was developed through Malibu's partnership with creative agency SharpEnd and follows research undertaken at the Stockholm-based lab of Absolut, the vodka brand also owned by Pernod Ricard.

According to Malibu, the research found that consumers are increasingly looking to buy "experiences and not products" and the company believes each of the 40,000 bottles will act as a direct, digital touchpoint.

However, Malibu's Alexander was keen to emphasise that the campaign is no "PR stunt" because parent company Pernod Ricard will be watching closely to glean useful insights from the trial.

"Success isn't necessarily about the numbers," she said. "It's very much about gaining exclusive insight on how consumers react to new tech and exploring the boundaries of where technology can go."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff