Whenever we feel like a good chuckle, we check out what the marketers are up to in Russia.
The latest terrifying marketing marvel cooked up in the Moscow laboratories is the talking vodka bottle. Developed by one Sergei Lykov, the mechan ism is powered by a small computer chip and microphone in the cap, allowing the bottle to cheer maniacally when opened and offer scores of toasts, songs and reminders for its owner and friends to keep drinking throughout the night.
Brand folks in Russia are said to be hyped about the idea, though the ones here in the U.S. are under standably a little skeptical. But Lykov is not fazed. Rather than merely adding a new twist to Russia's oldest pastime, Lykov has far grander goals in mind.
"The project we're working on is aimed at creating a community of talking things," he told U.K. news organization ITN recently. "A chair is talking to a table, or an umbrella is talking to boots."
The temptation is to see Lykov's bottle as a fancy party trick, sure to enliven any gathering. But, surprisingly, many Muscovites are dubious.
One told ITN that the seemingly endless toasts will get people more drunk than usual (no, really?), while another suggested drinkers' mental health could be on the line: "It's unusual when a bottle starts talking. Some [people] could think that there's something wrong with them."