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Makro Cornubia launches AI-powered multi-sensory Absolut experience

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Recent insights from AI Palette reveal that globally, more consumers require more than just the taste of an alcoholic beverage.

They want new and innovative multi-sensory experiences that engage their senses of sight, sound, touch and even smell. To create an experience that engages all the senses, Makro Cornubia and Absolut Vodka have combined a multi-sensory experience with artificial intelligence (AI) to launch an interactive space called the Absolut Room on 24 October.

The space goes beyond displaying the Absolut products customers want on Makro shelves. It offers customers a personalised Absolut multi-sensory, cocktail-creating experience driven by cutting-edge technology.

Mpho Thagisa, Vice President: Liquor at Makro, says the Absolut Room meets customers’ demand for more interactive experiences and allows them to explore the world’s leading premium vodka and sixth-largest spirit globally in a new and interactive way – reflecting Makro’s commitment to innovation.

“Makro has always strived to offer an innovative retail shopping experience, from our inception in 1971 as South Africa’s first cash-and-carry store employing top-end technology to evolving to offer customers a convenient online shopping hub. And our recent collaboration with Absolut Vodka is a testament to that commitment. The partnership aligns seamlessly with our innovative ethos and passion for enhancing the consumer experience through cutting-edge, multi-sensory engagements – encapsulating our brands' imaginative spirit."

The Absolut digital experience

The Absolut Room welcomes customers to a boldly illuminated space in Absolut blue, setting the tone for the captivating experience. The room boasts a 98-inch 4K screen, showcasing Absolut content and immersing guests in the brand's essence.

The centrepiece of the room is an interactive bar featuring a 55-inch touchscreen. Thanks to cutting-edge AI technology, guests can craft personalised Absolut cocktails that incorporate ingredients in their home fridge and their preferred variant of Absolut.

They can then scan a QR code to download their custom recipes onto their phones, allowing them to recreate their desired cocktails at home.

Damien Batteaux, Head of Portfolio: Vodka & Gin, says, "We're thrilled to partner with Makro Cornubia to unveil the Absolut Room. Our story has been a mystery for far too long. That's why we're opening our doors for South Africans to learn about our intriguing history and experience the spirit of Absolut on their doorsteps. We're not just serving vodka; we're serving history, craftsmanship, and a global legacy— all encapsulated in a bottle and brought to life through our ‘Born to Mix’ campaign. And, of course, we'll guide you through capturing this unique experience through personalised cocktails that are as iconic as our brand."

Beyond showcasing the Absolut story, the experience also tackles the issue of binge drinking through a simple and universal message: DRINK MORE WATER. The Pernod Ricard global campaign aims to help young adults to make smart choices, thanks to a peer-to-peer approach. Water has always been one of the core elements of reducing harmful drinking.

Meet your Absolut match

The experience adds an interactive layer by including five silhouette bottles symbolising Absolut’s distinct variants – Watermelon, Raspberri, Original, Lime, and Grapefruit. The silhouettes house three 32-inch interactive screens that invite users to immerse themselves in the Absolut world and discover the variant that matches their taste.

Each interactive screen offers:

  • A tailored quiz allows customers to find a variant that matches their taste.
  • Insights into each variant's characteristics.
  • Custom cocktail recipes corresponding to the preferred Absolut variant, downloadable via QR code.

The 4D One Source Experience

Customers can immerse themselves further in the Absolut story by entering the 4D One Source experience. Using an ultra-short throw laser projector, the captivating story of Absolut One Source comes to life. Guests can experience the story unfolding around them as 4D elements, like gentle winds and delicate mists, enhance the narrative of one source, one well, one village, and one community – the home of Absolut.

Thagisa concludes, “Our Absolut Room fuses the vodka brand’s iconic depth and creativity with an engaging retail environment that encourages customers to explore the brand, create unforgettable memories, and take that experience home with them by purchasing any of the products that resonate with them.”

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