Jameson Created a Google Home Skill That Spits Out Awesome Irish Toasts and Cocktail Recipes

Everything you need for every holiday occasion

Alcohol brand Jameson makes its first foray into voice. Animation: Dianna McDougall; Source: Jameson
Headshot of Katie Richards

In a pinch for a fitting holiday toast for your family Christmas party or a friend’s New Year’s Eve gathering? Jameson built a Google Home skill to help with that.

If you have a Google Home or the Google Assistant app on your phone, you can simply say, “OK, Google, talk to The Jameson Bar,” and a world of opportunities awaits. The brand partnered with 360i to create this new skill.

“First, it was important that we found something that made sense for the brand,” said 360i senior innovation strategist Fitz Maro. “Fans are always remembering that using an innovative technology doesn’t inherently make it an innovative idea that it has to make sense and it has to be value-filled.”

With that in mind, 360i and Jameson got to work creating two parts for this new voice skill: one dedicated to cocktails; the other, toasts.

“In terms of voice activation, we’ve all seen the rise of this and we know that this sort of technology isn’t going away any time soon, but rather is going to continue to grow and get smarter. We just believe it’s critical to be on the ground floor with this type of technology, so we can begin testing and learning,”said Cheryl Cavanaugh, senior brand manager, Jameson at Pernod Ricard. “What we actually found was, luckily, we were able to leverage that robotic nature and really play with it and have a lot of fun with it.”

The project helps you create Jameson-inspired cocktails from your own kitchen or living room. Google Home will either provide a step by step guide to make the cocktail, or it will send an email of the recipe so consumers can create the beverage on their own time.

The app also includes a handful of drink categories to choose from, including Jameson Original, Jameson Caskmates, and Jameson Black Barrel whiskeys. But really, it works for any whiskey drink you might have up your sleeve. (Hint: try asking for a Michael Collins.)

Perhaps the most intriguing and entertaining part of the skill, however, is the toasts feature. The brand wanted a way to connect with consumer during the holiday season and knows toasts are an essential part of holiday parties and events,so tone was a priority for the brand.

“Part of this was really making sure for phase one we got the basics … that first and foremost, we were hitting the tone of voice just right,” Cavanaugh said. “It was really difficult at first because you have the robotic nature of the skill, plus what we feel is the Jameson wit and humor, and tying those two things together.”

This isn’t the first time Jameson has experimented with new technology as a marketing tool. Last year, it became the first alcohol brand to use national Snapchat geofilters, and in 2015 Jameson ran an innovative 3D Instagram ad. Voice just seems to be the next logical step.

“We’re noticing that in voice, the big winners are often the early players, and they’re going to continue to win. They’re winning early and often,” he explained.

For a brand like Jameson, finding new and different ways to experiment with voice is a key element of their branding future. Cavanaugh said the brand is taking a “crawl, walk, run” approach; this particular foray is just the beginning, but for future holidays and events (like, say, St. Patrick’s Day) the brand hopes to continue working in the voice space.

@ktjrichards katie.richards@adweek.com Katie Richards is a staff writer for Adweek.