Diageo’s belief that voice is “a great way to enhance the whisky-tasting experience” has been demonstrated sufficiently with its Talisker single malt for the drinks giant to consider rolling out the approach to other products in its portfolio.

The Talisker Tasting Experience, a voice-activated Alexa skill launched last December, is aimed at giving consumers a whisky tasting-environment similar to those they might experience on a distillery tour, with advice on how to appreciate the product’s flavours, background on the island where it’s made (Skye) and an option to ask further questions.

“Talisker’s complexity of flavour lends it to [a voice] interface,” suggested Benjamin Lickfett, Diageo’s head of technology and innovation. “We started with Talisker because it really comes to life beautifully and it has a nice brand story that people can engage with,” he told The Drum.

“We used voice as an ambient addition, but it’s still about the product – the smell, the flavour, the colour and we use voice to add an additional layer,” he explained.

“People have been getting really engaged with the brand [through this experience], and it’s turning them into brand ambassadors as well as allowing us to highlight the uniqueness of the product,” he said.

And it’s an approach that could be utilised with “a lot of products” across Diageo’s extensive drinks range, Lickfett indicated.

That would also chime with the direction of the company’s innovation efforts – recently defined as “recruit, re-recruit and disruption” – which involve fewer new product launches and more spending behind those already in market.

Lickfett has also suggested that marketers will need to adapt their voice strategies between smart speakers and smartphone voice assistants which bring a visual element into play.

He believes that branded voice interactions on the former are more likely to drive transactions, while the latter will enable brand-building activity.

Sourced from The Drum, Marketing Week. Digiday; additional content by WARC staff