JIM BEAM TAP
Things I did
In 2019, JIM BEAM Japan redesigned its beer mug by adding a QR code on it. By launching this new type of beer mug, JIM BEAM was looking forward to stimulating the conversation over drinks.
In the drinking scene in Japan, beer is mostly ordered when a group of friends dine out or at single parties. My team and I designed a Truth or Dare game, bill-splitting calculator, and selfie filter camera, etc. to offer different topics to break the ice and help to make the checkout easier. We also designed a barrel-making game. Through this game, we was trying to let people know the process to make JIM BEAM's Bourbon to promote the brand culture.
After pitching to the client, our client decided to increase the budget of this project by 150%.
Initially, this project was planned to launch in 4 major cities in Japan. In the end, the client decided to extend it to all the prefectures in Japan.
We invited our colleagues to a dinner party to observe when users might take out their phones during the party. In Japan, Jim Beam's audience is young people from the 20s to the middle-aged group based on the advanced investigation. For this project, the new beer mug would only be distributed in Izakaya restaurant so that the average group size would be 3 - 8 people. So we set up a similar situation to continue our field survey.
People who don't enjoy the conversation might take out their phones to kill time.
After the 3-hour dinner party, we found out that using the phone during dinner was not as negative as we thought. We saw people sharing things they bought, restaurants they went to, and the conversation became more interactive and continuous.
People who sat far away from each other had less conversation.
After the initial toast, there wasn't another opportunity for all the people to be all together. People broke into small groups of 2-3, and usually, the group wouldn't change until the end of the dinner.
Unlike our hypothesis, using phones didn't look negative at drinking parties, so we decided to create something that would strengthen this feature to help people organize more fun and unforgettable get-togethers.
After defining the direction for the app, we had a deeper look at each stage of a drinking party. Based on our previous field research, we learned that people have diffevent needs at each stage, so it's impossible to solve all the problems at once.
Barrel making game
The barrel-making game was created for the solo diner or people who arrived at the party early and need to kill time. We also wanted to promote the brand culture and educate users about the process of making bourbon.
Before reaching the final version, our design team did several rounds of testing to find the best speed and shape of the wood. We didn't want to make this game too complicated and, at the same time, keep the excitement of playing it.
We also conducted competitive research on popular smartphone games to see how other games maximize the joy of the game while keeping a simple operation.
We found that games with a simple operation utilize rhythmical tempo to increase the fun of playing, making their users addicted to it.
Talk High is the main feature of the app. It provides topics under different categories for people to discuss and get to know each other. The questions vary from work, what they like, to people's life plan, etc. Users can pick a speciﬁc question they want to ask or just let the app picks it for them.
This feature aims to provide a variety of questions to stimulate the conversation so people can get to know each other through their answers. We designed questions of different levels, ranging from casual questions to deeper questions, so this game doesn't sound like a job interview. We opened a survey to ask people to submit questions they were asked in the past and thought would be a good fit for ice-breaking at a dinner party.
sit next to the youngest member
sit next to the organizer of the party
pick the one you want to sit next to you
Seat changer is a feature we created to give people more opportunity to get to know each other. Every time users click the button, the app will randomly show one instruction, for example, "sit next to the youngest member," "sit next to the organizer of the party," "pick the one you want to sit next to you," etc.
Each restaurant has different ypes of seating, so instead of pointing out a speciﬁc place to seat our users, we used member-related information so people can use this feature in all kinds of restaurants.
Smart Bill Splitter
This feature helps the organizer to quickly calculate how much he needs to collect from each person. This is not just a calculator. We designed several additional features that make bill splitting easier. If companies o er employee meal subsidies, users will be able to subtract that amount of money from the total amount and then calculate by people.
Also, when people who don't drink alcohol attend the party, they usually pay less, so the organizer can put the number of people who don't drink alcohol into the "people who pay less." box, and the app will automatically process it. Users can also set how little they want these people to pay.
Users can set the date they want to meet, and the app will automatically create a message and open the messaging app. Users can pick the members from the friend list, and then the app will send a reminder to everyone all at once.
We designed a QR code to scan and save the date on their phone for the ﬁrst iteration, but this iteration had 2 major problems. First, it's hard for people who sit far away from each other to scan; Second, users can't invite people who are not at the dinner.