Liquid Thinking

Immersive Drinks

Why brands are creating fully immersive brand worlds

23rd August 2023

Drink the drink, and live the life. Brands have long been selling consumers not just a drink, but an aspirational brand world to which consuming their products somehow conveys membership. However, brands are now going a step further. Moving beyond experiential events, these new marketing activations are seeing brands bring their world’s to life, and inviting consumers to be immersed within them. Why?

Sometimes you’re just scrolling through Netflix / Prime/ Disney + – insert streaming service of choice here – searching for something, anything to watch. And just sometimes you come across a series that you them dutifully binge no matter how silly the plot line continually gets (those who watched Empire will know what we mean here).

Yellowstone is a case in point. We’re not television critics (not professional ones at least) but this nostalgic yeehah cowboy romp that tells the tale of a hereditary rancher desperately trying to keep hold of most of the land in Montana, is a dramatic, slightly silly, but still compelling spectacle. And it has legions of devoted fans who still feel like Kevin Costner is a bit sexy in a Stetson, apparently. Anyway, why are we telling you this? Well, one drinks brand is now offering you the chance to be in the show.

Actually, that’s not quite right. The lucky winner will get a walk-in role in a show by its creator, Taylor Sheridan, focusing on the famous Texan Four Sixes Ranch also featured in the Yellowstone show. A promotion launched by beer and ranch water brand 6666 Grit & Glory, the prize is a deeply immersive one.

Total immersion

"From the moment we partnered with Taylor, we've looked forward to promoting a walk-on role on one of his shows," says Danny Stepper, Co-Founder & CEO of L.A. Libations, a new beverage development and market introduction company based in California. "We can't imagine a better way to create excitement about 6666 Grit & Glory than to give fans a taste of the inspiration for our products and a chance to be on the set with a walk-on role."  

Grit & Glory isn’t the only one immersing its consumers within its brand world. Santa Margherita Wines is up to it too. Citing that summer is the month when everyone jets off to Italy – we wish – the Italian wine brand has created an Italian Rosé themed hotel suite at the Walker Hotel in Greenwich Village, New York.

Intending to help consumers surround themselves with all thing rosé the "Santa Margher-suita" is described as a tribute the brand founder’s “beloved Venetian region” and is decorated in all-pink, including an installation of over 50,000 pink blooms, pink wine glasses, and a rosé cart complete with a dedicated Rosé-All-Day butler to serve chilled Santa Margherita Rosé, all day. Guests also get a private six-course Italian dinner from the hotel's restaurant, paired with Santa Margherita Rosé. All for the princely sum of $4,051 per night, a number chosen as its symbolic of the exact number of miles between New York and Italy. Cute.

Beyond a ready-made Instragram backdrop

But it’s clear what this activation is setting out to do. A ready-made Instagram backdrop, the brand claims that this one-of-a-kind suite is for immersing oneself in the vibe of an Italian summer. But it has provided a 24/7 on-call ‘Content Concierge’ who will “capture picture-perfect moments with your TikTok tagalong, ensuring that every Rosé-inspired memory comes to life”.

It’s not overly surprising that brands have taken this route. Over recent years we’ve seen the rise of the Instagram museum or pop-up, whereby whole spaces are built with just one intention; to provide good content. They may pose as having a theme or an educational value, but they’ve essentially cracked the code of modern marketing; let people promote you to death on social media by being deliberately photogenic and paying a great deal of attention to having the most flattering lighting possible. Venues/ museums/ backdrops – whatever you want to call them – of note include the Museum of Ice Cream, Candytopia, Color Factory et al. All create a full immersive background, an entirely visual representation of what they’re themed on.

Brand worlds prioritised over liquids

So, it’s no surprise that brands are beginning to embrace these tactics too. Immersive experiences, with photogenic backgrounds however, have been part of many drinks brands repertoires’ for some time.  What’s new is this evolution to experiences that are not just a pretty backdrop to pose in, but something that fully brings a brand world, rather than the liquid, to life. From the rough and tumble of a ranch, and the thrill of a TV set, to the sights, smells, and sounds of the Italian summer, these activations are less about the brands themselves, but more about the worlds they want to evoke, and the aspirational lifestyles to which they want their brands to belong to.

The secret to this new style of activation also lies in its exclusivity. One-on-one and intimate, but designed to be prolifically shared on socials, these experiences are exclusive, desirable, hard to secure, but intended to become much-hyped talking points for brands. Meaning, relatively speaking, the outlay and costs for a brand are relatively low. But the hype and output is considerable.

As long as exclusivity and doing-it-for-the-gram are with us, expect more brands to take an interest in bringing their brands to life in this more fully immersive, could-live-within-it way. However, expect a more comprehensive immersion into a lifestyle, rather than a liquid, as brands look to sell a vision of place, context, and aspirational pursuits that becoming one of their consumers implies.

Interested in finding out more about what this might mean for you and your business?

Please contact us at or 0207 101 3933