New Normals
Now we can mix the perfect margarita from home with Patrón’s smart tech
by Miranda Valentine

While summer provided a brief respite from all-things-indoors COVID life, the impending cooler weather is about to drive us back inside, full-time. And with it, an even greater need to fill our experience voids. 

At the ready to fill the “perfect margarita with friends” void? Patrón tequila’s limited edition “smart coaster kits.”

Thanks to a partnership with the startup Barsy, instead of lamenting the inability to enjoy a bartender-crafted margarita at their favorite bar, kit owners can become at-home mixologist masters. 

The Smart Coaster Kit is novel and simple to use: connect the drink coaster to your smartphone via an app and following the step-by-step instructions. Once a cocktail shaker is placed on the coaster, it will blink green when it’s time for the next ingredient.

Each kit contains two Patrón margarita glasses, a branded salt rimmer, lime squeezer and cocktail shaker, along with the smart coaster. In support of the kit, Patrón’s website hosts a video tutorial on how to make a margarita, as well as the opportunity to purchase a bottle of tequila.

The limited edition kit just launched in September, and is available only until stock runs out via the Barsys website and

The Opportunity 

Since we’ve adapted to a daily life in which tech rules nearly every interaction (and pandemic procedures aren’t the shock they once were) people won’t reflexively seek only experiences rooted in comfort and nostalgia, such as last winter’s Sourdough bread baking boom. 

Instead, in this new normal, we’ll see a turn toward experiences that:

  • Incorporate use of light-touch and cost-effective smart tech: Not all tech needs to be cumbersome or expensive; and developing limited editions as Patrón have can create exclusivity and intrigue, having a brand halo effect, being an incremental product sales driver as well as functioning as a beta test for the technology itself, before potentially rolling out at larger scale. 
  • Create new product usage occasions at home: Product trial experiences in stores and similar may not be as prevalent in the short to medium term, but there will always be an audience who are looking to broaden their horizons, try new things and, in these Covid times, get more variety and enjoyment out of their everyday home life.
  • Reimagine the home as a canvas for all different types of experience: Following on from the above point, many people will find themselves at home much more often than not in the short to medium term and will be craving experiences besides binge-watching.

New Normals is a content series focused on the rapid evolution of the experience economy in response to the global pandemic. TRO, the brand experience agency, in collaboration with the global network of Omnicom Experiential Group, will share weekly stories and insights from around the world.