2018 Brand Experience & Activation


Category D01. Touchpoint Technology & Tech-led Brand Experience
Name Company Position
Rachna Dhall Iris Amsterdam Creative Director
Mark Walter Iris Amsterdam Writer
Jess Walker Iris Amsterdam Designer
Jess Reynolds Iris Amsterdam Head of Production
Craig Melton Iris Amsterdam Producecr
David Austin Iris Amsterdam Strategy Director
Matthew Atherton Iris Amsterdam Board Director
Faye Tuckley Iris Amsterdam Senior Account Manager

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?

Desperados focus on the pre-party occasion, and their brand message is ‘ignite the party spirit through wild experimentation in music’. We brought this to life with a digital innovation that not only engaged but also drove sales – simply by using the tools at our audience’s disposal; a smartphone, a bottle of Desperados and some speakers. We collaborated with Facebook to incorporate a messenger scan code on the bottle (a Facebook first), we created unique mixing samples for our audience to play with, and we made the whole experience social; from mixing tracks with mates to winning bigger shared prizes.


Situation Desperados has a very clear occasion it wants to own– the pre-party. In off-trade, the brand looks to enchant its twenty-something party-goer audience through innovation in order to drive consumption during that pre-party moment. Brief We were tasked with creating multiple on & off-trade engagement tools that would drive sales whilst positioning Desperados as the drink of choice for party-goers across EMEA. We needed to create a way the audience could participate with Desperados and experience experimentation in music, but all the while selling beers. Objectives We needed to drive a combination of more people (higher penetration), more occasions (expand the purchasing moments) and more frequency (drive repeat purchase). Beyond these business objectives, we were challenged to engage party-goers with the brand message in our comms; ‘ignite the party spirit through wild experimentation in music’.

Describe the creative idea

We turned the one thing we know that all party goers will have at their pre-party session, (bottles) into sounds they can experiment with. Anybody, anywhere, could mix tracks with their mates – all they needed was a bottle of Desperados and a smartphone. Scan a bottle through Facebook messenger and mix tracks live with your mates. And if you’re really good, you’re in with a chance of showcasing your mixing skills at a local major festival.

Describe the strategy

Across the globe we’re seeing a resurgence in DIY party culture. From warehouse raves in Berlin to pop-ups in Warsaw, party goers are taking matters into their own hands. Specifically looking at our consumer and their constraints, we were able to take this macro DIY trend and make it relevant, disruptive and participative for them and their parties. We know that the average Desperados drinker will venture out with just €10 in their pocket… these party goers had to be creative with their DIY skills to create a unique party. That’s why we decided to innovate the bottle into a DIY party tool, accessed via the smartphone we knew they’d have. This way, we could make their cash go further and their night start greater. And the benefit for Desperados? We’d be able to place the brand at the heart of the party and encourage friends to purchase, too.

Describe the execution

The functionality was simple. Facebook messenger codes were integrated into six limited edition label designs (a Facebook first). Each code was programmed with a specific sound; bass, drums, synth, SFX, vocals or rhythm so the more Playable bottles you and your mates collected, the better the mix, and the better the experience. Once scanned by a smartphone, the user was instantly taken to the Desperados Facebook chatbot where they could begin their mixing session, add friends and mix their own track. And, as further incentive, we offered up festival prizes local to that user.

List the results

We created a party-starter that invited our audience to experiment with music and connect with friends. Through doing so, we were able to reward participation with varying prizes across the globe; giving our audience yet another reason to mix their own tracks. What’s more, we didn’t advertise traditionally to our audience. Instead, we combined utility & entertainment and invited them to the world of Desperados. The campaign achieved great results: • 31,000 unique users across the globe • 49% conversion rate • Average in app dwell time of 3min 5sec. • Encouraged repeat purchase to collect the range of six sounds to mix with • Additional in-store placements were secured, increasing sales volume