Augmented reality (AR) has garnered much attention in the alcohol beverage category recently, with splash uses like Walking Dead wine, among others. The ability to bring an inanimate object, such as a bottle or label, to life opens a whole new world of marketing and branding opportunities. But AR can be cost-prohibitive to create and execute.

A new app and platform, Winerytale, makes it easier (and more cost-effective) for smaller operations “to tell their authentic story right from their label, connecting with a new generation of customers and their future brand ambassadors,” says company cofounder Dave Chaffey.

Winerytale will launch in early 2020 as a freemium model, meaning there’s no charge for the entry level, which includes a showcase of video, images, and text content about the winery; and an Instagram fan gallery, where winery fans can add themselves and be recognized globally.

For wineries that want more, there are paid versions that offer additional services. These can include location-based content, food pairing and winemaker notes, social media interaction, direct links to a website or purchase site, and more.

According to Chaffey, using the app is easy: “Wineries simply upload content the same way that they would to Facebook. The platform takes care of the rest, converting everything into AR and projecting from the label.”

The company is in the final round of global field trials with 500-plus wineries, and it’s signing up wineries for the full launch in February 2020. So far, says Chaffey, “The response from consumers has been outstanding, particularly from millennials. The concept seems to really hit the mark with the under 40s, and it’s helping to enhance the experience for them. We’re told dinner parties just go to another level.

“We see a future where consumers instinctively scan wine labels to see and hear the story behind the wine they’re drinking.”

Elsewhere in the industry, wine packaging specialist Sparflex has also embraced AR, teaming with the SnapPress app to develop a sparkling wine foil that comes to life.