Diageo "The Bar" for Amazon Alexa

Turning at-home enthusiasts into expert bartenders with Diageo & Amazon Alexa.

“Technology is changing the way we socialise in and outside of the home, and with the new ‘The Bar’ skill, we’re tapping into the growing number of adults using voice-enabled devices to take them on a journey towards mastering mixology.” Periklies Antoniou, New Technology & Media Innovation Manager at Diageo.

The Challenge

Diageo has a global objective to maintain their position as future-facing leaders in the drinks category. The Innovation team’s remit is to leverage technology in a user-led way that can elevate Diageo products above other brands.  

Diageo also needed to reach more of their consumers at home, with memorable, relevant and value-driven experiences. Looking to empower and engage, they were keen to explore opportunities to put their expert knowledge and content more easily into their consumers hands. 

The Insights

  • Making amazing cocktails at home doesn’t need to be hard or complicated. But it’s often seen as intimidating; especially when it comes to the finishing touches.  
  • Web recipes can help. But when it comes to drinks, users often need visual instructions. The risk then is sticky fingers as you try and play and pause Youtube videos to keep up as you follow-along. 
  • The majority of Alexa users kept their devices in kitchen

Part One: Voice App development 

Working with Diageo we launched The Bar: one of the first branded skills to be optimised for screen-based Echo devices. It offers a seamless at-home cocktail-making experience:

  • Make a cocktail: This option lets the host choose a specific cocktail (using free and guided search) and then follow the recipe as Alexa reads out each step.
  • Suggest a cocktail: Cocktail recommendations based on a users’ preferences
  • Learn mixology techniques: Before the party gets started, the host can beef up their drink-making skills with nifty tips and advice on mixing ingredients the right way. (So they can impress their guests instead of poisoning them.)
  • E-Commerce integration: Users can send a shopping list of ingredients to their Alexa app or ask Alexa to purchase it on Amazon. 

We also worked closely with Amazon to help unlock the the non-branded “Alexa, open the Bar”  invocation for Diageo; which was key to establishing their cross-portfolio voice offering. 

Part Two: On-going Optimization

Looking at the analytics, Diageo objectives and the latest technical launches, we’re working with Diageo to keep optimising the service; exploring monetisation and the role of the Skill in the context of thebar.com ecosystem. 

The Results:

  • Established clear category ownership in the cocktail and drinking space. 
  • The Bar Alexa skill is a core pillar of Diageo’s global voice offering.
  • Launched at CES, the service is often heroed throughout the business as an example of best-in-class user-led innovation.
“Technology is changing the way we socialise in and outside of the home, and with the new ‘The Bar’ skill, we’re tapping into the growing number of adults using voice-enabled devices to take them on a journey towards mastering mixology.” Periklies Antoniou, New Technology & Media Innovation Manager at Diageo.

The Challenge

Diageo has a global objective to maintain their position as future-facing leaders in the drinks category. The Innovation team’s remit is to leverage technology in a user-led way that can elevate Diageo products above other brands.  

Diageo also needed to reach more of their consumers at home, with memorable, relevant and value-driven experiences. Looking to empower and engage, they were keen to explore opportunities to put their expert knowledge and content more easily into their consumers hands. 

The Insights

  • Making amazing cocktails at home doesn’t need to be hard or complicated. But it’s often seen as intimidating; especially when it comes to the finishing touches.  
  • Web recipes can help. But when it comes to drinks, users often need visual instructions. The risk then is sticky fingers as you try and play and pause Youtube videos to keep up as you follow-along. 
  • The majority of Alexa users kept their devices in kitchen

Part One: Voice App development 

Working with Diageo we launched The Bar: one of the first branded skills to be optimised for screen-based Echo devices. It offers a seamless at-home cocktail-making experience:

  • Make a cocktail: This option lets the host choose a specific cocktail (using free and guided search) and then follow the recipe as Alexa reads out each step.
  • Suggest a cocktail: Cocktail recommendations based on a users’ preferences
  • Learn mixology techniques: Before the party gets started, the host can beef up their drink-making skills with nifty tips and advice on mixing ingredients the right way. (So they can impress their guests instead of poisoning them.)
  • E-Commerce integration: Users can send a shopping list of ingredients to their Alexa app or ask Alexa to purchase it on Amazon. 

We also worked closely with Amazon to help unlock the the non-branded “Alexa, open the Bar”  invocation for Diageo; which was key to establishing their cross-portfolio voice offering. 

Part Two: On-going Optimization

Looking at the analytics, Diageo objectives and the latest technical launches, we’re working with Diageo to keep optimising the service; exploring monetisation and the role of the Skill in the context of thebar.com ecosystem. 

The Results:

  • Established clear category ownership in the cocktail and drinking space. 
  • The Bar Alexa skill is a core pillar of Diageo’s global voice offering.
  • Launched at CES, the service is often heroed throughout the business as an example of best-in-class user-led innovation.

Who are Voxly Digital?

Voxly Digital is Europe's leading voice agency. We connect brands & consumers through Conversational AI. Our mission is to help brands formulate a market-winning strategy and develop the world's best conversational experiences. We're experts in strategy, design and development for voice and chat platforms like WhatsApp, Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Webchat, and more.

Our clients include dozens of global brands like Unilever, COTY, Diageo, BMW, BBC Match of the Day Magazine, Joe Wicks, Public Health England, Sony Pictures, Rogers Communications / The National Hockey League, and many others.  

Visit us at voxlydigital.com or linkedin.com/company/voxly-digital/

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