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Augmented reality is proving to be a potent marketing tool in the hands of the right brands, and world-famous spirits maker Jack Daniel’s is today unveiling one of the strongest uses yet of the technology. Developed by Tactic, the company’s AR Experience app turns the classic black-and-white front label of any Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Whiskey bottle into a matching pop-up book, educating consumers about the company and brand.

Intended solely for users of legal drinking age — 21 and over in the United States — the free app uses a smartphone or tablet camera to recognize the shape of anything from a 50ml miniature to a giant-sized 1.75L bottle. A photorealistic version of the front label then syncs up with the real bottle’s position, unfolding to reveal stylized objects, text, and environmental effects.

There are three experiences. The first is a step-by-step explanation of whiskey manufacturing, including everything from water sourcing and mash milling to the barrel making, fermentation, and distillation processes. Each step appears as its own small pop-out diorama.


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Next is a wider-format look at the company’s Lynchburg, Tennessee distillery, complete with its own barrel cooperage and cave spring — all rendered to a surprising level of detail. Last up is a collection of stories about “the man himself,” Jack Daniel. All of the content is voice narrated in a Sam Elliott-like baritone for an extra air of old American authenticity.

Above: If you move closer to the “label,” you’ll find remarkable detail in the Jack Daniel’s AR Experience app’s black-and-white art.

Image Credit: Jeremy Horwitz/VentureBeat

If you already have a bottle of Jack Daniel’s on hand, or find a bottle at a store, it’s impressive that you can learn so much more about the product and brand simply by looking through your phone’s screen. The only limitation — and a likely intentional one — is that you can’t get the AR experience without actually buying or otherwise having one of those bottles handy. Flat 2D-style scrolling text content is all you can view if you don’t have a bottle.

The Jack Daniel’s AR Experience app is available now through the iOS App Store for iPhones and iPads, and through the Google Play Store for Android users. In addition to being age-gated through both stores for users 17 and up, the app requires a 21-or-older age-confirming birthdate on first run.

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