Heineken this month launched the second set of commercials in its new “Open Your World” campaign. The spots start as 90-second “! lms,” appearing online and in movie theaters before making their TV debut in high-pro! le venues such as NBC’s Sunday Night Football. Heineken also arranged for a feature about making the latest film to air on IFC. Heineken USA CMO Lesya Lysyj explains the beer importer’s strategy.
What is the message you’re trying to get out with the “Open Your World” campaign?
“Open Your World” is Heineken’s cohesive strategy that gives the brand one global voice. It supports a long-term journey to reclaim Heineken’s worldly positioning and emphasize its premium quality. Heineken inspires and enables its drinkers to be “men of the world.” With film [spots] like “The Entrance” and “The Date,” we’re tapping into situations where we know our drinkers want to demonstrate their con! - dence and worldliness, as well as their ability to navigate any social situation.
Did you adjust your target audience when you changed the campaign? Who is the target audience?
Our target is 21-to-34-year-old males, honing in on the multicultural millennial market segment. Ethnic and millennial consumers are the largest and fastest- growing demographics in the U.S., and the fastest-growing category among that group is “Important” to “Upscale.” Further, imports are more popular than crafts among that demographic. That being said, it is clear that there is a huge opportunity for Heineken among this segment. More specifically, the “Open Your World” campaign was developed to appeal to the upscale, progressive “Man of the World” that can navigate any social situation with con! dence—such as when making an entrance at a party or going on a date.
How is making these films different from traditional commercials?
The complexity and depth of the spots creates a closer resemblance to movies than traditional ads, and the cinematic quality and character-driven stories allow the consumer to form a deeper, long-term emotional connection with the films, and thus the brand.
After the new film “The Date” appeared in theaters, the ad first ran on Sunday Night Football. Why Sunday Night Football?
When searching for a high-profile, masstargeted TV program to launch in, our thoughts immediately went to the NFL. Ratings have been record-setting coming off of last season, and Sunday Night Football in particular achieved record ratings in its first airing of the season last week. Our presence here will reach our consumer target and our business/distributor system, kicking the campaign off in a very big way with a primetime audience of 20-plus-million people.
Is there a lot of sports on your TV schedule? What other shows and networks will the spots run on, and how were those outlets selected?
Live sports and top studio programs make up less than half of our total TV spend, but sports is a key context in which to connect with our core male consumer. Our consumers are “men of the world,” and their interest goes beyond traditional male programming. We follow their viewing habits by including networks like Comedy Central, Discovery, History, Food Network and more. We also buy smaller niche networks like IFC, Current and Palladia.
Can you tell me more about your arrangement with IFC?
As part of our buy with IFC, they will air our “making of” video for The Date. We felt that this network, with its focus on film, would be the perfect place to showcase this additional content about the magic of filmmaking, presented with bit of wit and humor. Film, music and the arts are areas that our “man of the world” is passionate about, so it only makes sense to partner with a network dedicated to these areas.
Are you using more TV or less TV than in previous campaigns? Can you give me a round number, or a percentage change?
In general, we’re using more TV, and more long-form commercials, than in previous years. We’ve almost doubled our total weeks on TV. While digital is growing and"crucial to campaign success, TV continues to be the first entry point"to engage"a vast majority of viewers.
The film’s also running on YouTube. Your previous ad, “The Entrance,” got a lot of viewership online. Is the TV driving those views, or are you doing other forms of promotion? Will the fi lm be online in other locations, and how does online video compare to TV as far as marketing muscle?
Our digital approach was extremely important to this campaign, and our overall strategy. We know our target demographic prefers to consume media digitally, so we broke away from traditional beer advertising to reach them online months before we premiered the spot on television. This strategy helped drive the online conversation for our brand’s fans. "
Online video also provides a platform for additional content, such as “The Legendary Making of ‘The Date,’” which helps build a deeper emotional connection to the Legends’ stories, thus the brand.
How do you judge whether the campaign is effective? How has the brand been performing?
The digital debut of “The Date” proved to be a successful strategy, as its total views to date has already eclipsed the award-winning “The Entrance,” garnering more than 8 million YouTube views. Also, since the online release of “The Date,” Heineken has shown positive volume trends each month, up four points since April, according to Nielsen.
What can TV executives do to make the medium more useful to your marketing needs?
More customized opportunities, like with IFC, allow us to really communicate our brand essence. We value great programming and strong commercial positioning, but the ability to deliver more unique content from our brand to our consumer is something we value greatly and will continue to do, be it in the digital space or on TV.
Beyond TV, what’s the coolest new marketing tool you had pitched to you lately?
This summer, Heineken Lager used “JAGTAG,” which is similar to QR code technology, to promote its summer VIP Access promotion, which is about giving consumers the chance to take part in “Money Can’t Buy Music Experiences” only Heineken can bring them.
JAGTAG codes are printed on secondary packages and point of sale to promote the program at retail, with a call to action to purchase when downloaded. The program got a lot of pickup, especially through the promotion in the retail space. JAGTAG technology was a great tool to speak directly to our target in their language.
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