It's Christmas and naturally the season for all kinds of weird tie-ins. Enter Game of Thrones stage right, which is blending dragons and direwolves with ... AR whisky?
We're all in need of random gifts for people, and particularly if you're dealing with older folks, drinks are usually an easy route to go. So Johnnie Walker's Game of Thrones tie-in bottles are a bit of an easy gift - they look flashy on the shelf, and chances are there's a relative or someone in the family who's happy to get a blended scotch for Christmas.
Johnnie Walker and Game of Thrones have done tie-ins before: there was a White Walker-themed whisky last year, and to coincide with the final season the scotch brand released two new whiskies, A Song of Ice and A Song of Fire.
Those whiskies are still kicking around, but from today you'll be able to muck around with a dragon or direwolf, depending on the bottle. It's accessible through any mobile phone with a browser - Safari is recommended on iOS, in case you're using Chrome there.
It's a dumb gimmick, to be sure, but it's also absolutely the kind of thing I know a particular family member would be absolutely thrilled with. More interesting is that brands are mucking around with AR and gamifying things at all. Development isn't the natural home for alcohol brands or a lot of FMCGs - the brands selling like Coke, toilet paper, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals and other consumables - and the more they dabble in the space, the closer and closer they get to gamifying their brands entirely.
And to their credit, HBO has been pretty comfortable playing around with AR before. The company used Snapchat's Landmaker tech to promote the final GoT season, with one of Dany's dragons perching itself on New York skyscrapers. One NYU student took the idea a little further, creating a GoT narrative where Aegon Targaryen took control over Westeros through a three minute AR experience.
As for the whisky, Dan Murphy's are selling them for $59.95 each. As far as which whisky you should get? A quick test of the two - with the help of the combined Kotaku/Pedestrian office - found The Song of Fire has a little smokier and a warmer finish, and it's a little sweeter to boot. The Song of Ice is a little smoother with less body, making it better for cocktails and mixing.