Hot brands to watch in 2016: Heineken

Over the next two weeks we take a look at some of the hottest brands making waves on the experiential scene; next up is Heineken.

Heineken devised a host of activity as part of its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup
Heineken devised a host of activity as part of its sponsorship of the Rugby World Cup

Last year was a busy one for Heineken’s namesake brand, with two huge campaigns to activate. First came the Rugby World Cup in September. Heineken started getting fans of the sport excited in August with its coin hunt competition, before officially launching its partnership with the tournament at a huge party at Somerset House.

David Lette, brand director at Heineken, says: "We transformed the iconic London landmark into a rugby stadium with a 270-degree projection, some of our Heineken rugby ambassadors, an excited crowd of guests and a live set from British band, Everything Everything. It was one of those spine tingling moments, and truly got our campaign off to best possible start."

Throughout the games, the brand presented a digital content series dubbed the Heineken Rugby Studio, which took an irreverent look at the highs and lows of the tournament with a range of guests.

The entire campaign had been in the planning for two years. "We had multi-discipline project team covering everything from bar design to social media campaigns," Lette explains. "As hosts for this global competition, the UK team took the lead on digital and PR to create content for all our rugby markets."

On top of all of this, the global brand had another partnership to activate: that of James Bond’s Spectre. While the UK campaign mainly featured ATL practices, Heineken went big – and out of this world – in the USA, taking a ‘selfie’ of guests at an interactive event in the Hoover Dam, Nevada from the International Space Station.

How does the brand keep up with so much, and such diverse, activity? "We are used to back to back campaigns like this, as there is always something exciting going on for the Heineken brand throughout the year," says Lette. "We have already moved on the UEFA Champions' League, European club rugby and our continuing Open Your City campaigns.

"Taken together, this is really driving our ambition to grow Heineken in the UK premium beer category."

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