The Mars Agency And Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit Launch Groundbreaking Voice-Activated, In-Store Shopper Tool
DETROIT, Jan. 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/



Global marketing-to-shoppers expert The Mars Agency today announced the launch of the “Bottle Genius Powered by SmartAisleTM” skill for Alexa. The new voice-powered service in the brick-and-mortar retail environment is available now at Bottlerocket Wine and Spirit, located at 5 W. 19TH Street in the Flatiron neighborhood of New York City.

Leveraging Amazon’s Alexa Skills Kit (ASK) capabilities, The Mars Agency developed the Bottle Genius skill for Alexa powered by SmartAisleTM to provide a personalized, voice-powered customer assistant to help shoppers right in Bottlerocket’s whiskey aisle. By answering basic directional questions, such as current favorite, purchase occasion or desire to try something new, customers are given three curated whiskey recommendations along with helpful tasting information, and an opportunity to learn more about the brands. A custom-built shelf lights up to identify the top recommendations out of the 100-plus available for purchase, making it easier than ever to make a confident purchase decision. The unique hardware solution was built with LED Specialists and Arrow Electronics.


With 70 million smart speaker devices like Echo and Google Home expected to land in U.S. households by 2022, reaching 55% of all homes, experts predict voice-powered technology will continue to evolve as a powerful means to meet consumer expectations for personalized, relevant products and services. “We believe voice technologies like the Bottle Genius skill powered by SmartAisleTM will trump mobile as the preferred mode of interface for shoppers within the next five years,” said Ethan Goodman, SVP, Technology & Innovation, The Mars Agency. “By integrating our technology with the pioneering design of Bottlerocket’s customer-centric store, we’re bringing first-of-its-kind, voice-powered shopping assistance right into the actual store.”

With the help of Amazon, The Mars Agency chose to partner with Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit because of its reputation for providing personalized, detailed information to help customers choose the perfect wine for their meal or occasion. Bottlerocket owner Tom Geniesse and buyer Gary Itkin embraced the idea of offering the Bottle Genius skill powered by Smart Aisle as a means to exceed customer service expectations and demystify sometimes intimidating categories like wine and spirits.

“Buying whiskey can be challenging,” said Geniesse. “And everyone wants to love the new bottle they take home. Bottlerocket’s knowledge and expertise, translated by The Mars Agency into a voice-powered guide, will both delight the user and steer them to a great choice. Ultimately, the power of the idea lies in our ability to be enormously useful to our customers in choosing the right bottle.”

Bottle Genius will be available throughout the month of February during Bottlerocket’s annual month-long free tasting event, Mondo Whiskey.

According to Rob Rivenburgh, The Mars Agency Chief Executive Officer of North America, the agency’s legacy of providing groundbreaking marketing strategy that consistently helps customers solve problems and successfully grow business has led to partnerships with some of the world’s top brands, retailers and technology partners. For example, in November 2017, The Mars Agency worked with Eucerin Skincare to create the first voice-driven, product-selection skill that helps shoppers find the right Eucerin product solution for their specific skin conditions.

“The Bottle Genius skill powered by SmartAisleTM is just the latest example of the Mars Agency’s entrepreneurial spirit and ability to create amazing experiences that connect our customers to their target consumers in meaningful ways,” said Rivenburgh. “As long as people are buying things we will continue to identify relevant ways to help the overall consumer experience and grow our clients’ business. Industry advances like SmartAisleTM will continue to transform the way people shop for products and services with their favorite retailers.”

About The Mars Agency
The Mars Agency is a full-service, global marketing agency, specializing in shopper marketing, e-commerce, consumer promotion and shopper media. It operates independently in 11 offices in North America and Europe. For nearly 46 years, the agency has been consistently recognized for its ability to drive growth across channels and commerce platforms. Correspondingly, and for the second year in a row, The Mars Agency was named the #5 Most Effective Independent Agency in North America by the prestigious Effies Index. The agency has both an impressive and growing client base, which includes Samsung, Bacardi, Campbell’s, Pepperidge Farm, Lowe’s, Hallmark, Henkel and Pfizer. To learn more about Smart Aisle technology, please visit For more information about The Mars Agency, please visit

About Bottlerocket
Founded in 2006, Bottlerocket Wine & Spirit quickly developed a reputation as a new breed of retailer in the industry. Our patented in-store design provides an intuitive shopping experience with excellent information, allowing a buyer to cut through the thicket of choices available and zero in on an optimal choice. This core is surrounded by an amazing staff, eclectic music, a kids play area and a steady supply of dog treats.

Bottlerocket’s first loyalty is to our customers. We succeed when they walk out with a smile and the confidence that they have made an excellent choice. We have always believed that we are “arguably, the world’s greatest wine and spirit shop.” Today we just got a little bit better.

Editor’s note: To learn more about SmartAisleTM technology, please visit