Earlier this month Medea Vodka released a new concept in product labels – a programmable LED label. Even though this venerable Dutch distiller has been around since the 18th century they are very much breaking new ground here in the 21st century.
The LED label has six pre-programmed messages but you can also program your own message. It can have up to six scrolling 255 characters messages, enough for a (very) short story. But the drawback from my perspective is that it is quite a pain to program, particularly a long message. Here is a link to the video that describes the programming process. The messages scroll for three minutes before turning themselves off automatically.
What would have been really cool is if they had some sort of wireless connectivity that would have allowed you to send a text message from your phone to the bottle. But I imagine the technology for that kind of thing is too complex right now, particularly with regards to the battery.
I think the LED is really just a marketing tool. It is a little clunky but it does have a novelty factor that may spur some sales. But what it does most is generate some buzz around their vodka. Doing some quick Google searches shows a lot of articles on blogs and online news sites, and they are all over Twitter (this is where I discovered it – hat tip to @CnvCurmudgeon). They have a strong social media presence on Twitter and Facebook and they are leveraging the buzz this new “product label” has created.
I looked for a bottle of Medea Vodka in my local liquor store and couldn’t find one. They only have limited distribution here from what I gather. But I do salute them for this new label concept. I am sure it won’t be the last time we see programmable LED product labels.