How experiential marketing and technology could transform bars

By May 23, 2016General

Experiential marketing and technology go together like vodka and tonic. Imagine walking into a bar and being served by a robot, who offers you a floating cocktail or vaporised shot. After paying for your drink via your smartphone, it is delivered to your table by a drone.

In the not-too-distant future, you will be able to decide which bar to visit by consulting an app, which will reveal the number of customers and the male to female ratio; and the average age of guest. It will also tell you which of your friends have checked in.

While it may sound far-fetched, the technology already exists, and researchers are now devising ways to utilise it, to enhance our evenings out.

This is experiential marketing of the future, so let’s take a closer look at how technology could transform our social lives.


Waiting at a packed bar to order your drink is one of the biggest headaches of a night out. But UK mobile app Orderella is changing all that.

The app enables pub-goers to pre-order their drinks online and receive an alert when the bartender has made them.

The fact that users can do this in advance, from the comfort of the living room sofa means when they arrive at the pub, there is no queuing or hassle – just a chilled round waiting at the bar.

Floating cocktails

Once inside the bar, researchers are betting that future generations won’t be happy with simply drinking cocktails from glasses.

In anticipation of this, British scientists have created an experiential world’s first: a levitating cocktail machine.

Levitron, which uses ultrasonic sound waves to create a levitating field, is capable of catching tiny droplets of alcohol and floating them in mid-air – right into the mouths of thirsty guests.

The machine is the first step in a wider project to create contactless cutlery and levitating popcorn. Needless to say, the opportunities for innovative product sampling and experiential marketing campaigns are virtually endless.

Robot tongues

Researchers have created the ultimate beer taster; the robo-tongue. The electronic ‘tongue’ is based on the human sense of taste and is so sensitive that it can distinguish between different beer varieties and recognise the alcohol content, using its 21 sensors, which react to the various chemical compounds in beers.

Researchers have trained the robo-tongue to distinguish between Schwarzbier, lager, double malt, Pilsen, Alsatian and low-alcoholic beers, and the system has proven to be 82% accurate.

In bars of the future, robotic bartenders will be able to taste drinks to check quality and flavour, and personalise the taste according to the punter’s palette.

Hotcow is a non-traditional creative agency that specialises in experiential marketing that goes viral. Our campaigns generate buzz through crowd participation, PR and content sharing. Contact us on 0207 5030442 or email us on