1988 an important year for Heineken in the U.K. G.C.C. Pels Rijcken follows in great-grandfather's footsteps Whitbread salesmen give extra boost to Heineken sales Heineken employee special guest at Japans Holland Village I The seven hundred sales representatives of our licensing partner Whitbread will be giving the U.K. sales of Heineken lager a substantial boost this year. A large-scale gathering some months ago marked the start of '1988 The Year of Heineken!'. During this pep-talk meeting the salesmen were reminded again of all the selling arguments that the Heineken brand has to offer. Shake-out Early entry Weigh anchors! Mr. G.C.C. Pels Rijcken, of Corporate Personnel Affairs in Holland, journeyed back into his distant family past several months ago. His trip took him to Japan - the country in which his great-grandfather had first set foot in 1854 as lieutenant-commander of the sail-rigged steamship, the 'Soembing'. Mr. Pels Rijcken visited Japan at the invitation of Heineken Japan as part of a Heineken public relations programme centred on Holland Village, a theme park near Nagasaki which consists entirely of replicas of typical Dutch buildings. Holland Village had commissioned a Dutch shipyard to build an authentic copy of the 19th century 'Soembing'. History HEINEKEN INTERNATIONAL MAGAZINE NR. 15 PAGE3 The exact replica of the 'Soembing' arrives in Holland Village after an eight- week voyage. On the publicity front, too, activities have been developed to ensure that 1988 really does become 'The Year of Heine ken'. Together with its adver tising agency, Whitbread has again produced four new versions of the world-famous campaign "Heineken refresh es the parts other beers cannot reach." Extra media expendi ture and newly designed post ers will guarantee maximum consumer exposure to Heine ken publicity again this year. In the United Kingdom the remarkable situation has arisen in which the total beer market is declining because of zero population growth, whilst at the same time the lager market is growing, not only as a percentage but also in hectolitres. And within that lager market we can see an expansion of the premium segment. The 'mainstream' brands are being forced to concede ground. Competition has meanwhile become so fierce that a shake- out is currently taking place amongst the 150(!) different brands of lager. Expectations are that only the major brands, including Heineken, will be able to maintain their position. Heineken and Whitbread aim to strengthen that position even more thanks to '1988 The Year of Heineken!'. Twenty years ago hardly any lager was drunk in Great Britain; by far the favourite beer types were stouts and, above all, bitters. Heineken was one of the first brands to appear on the U.K. lager market and that early entry has been rewarded with success. Over the years Heine ken has grown to become one of the leading lager brands in that country. For reasons of excise duties and also because of consumer preferences, British Heineken lager has a lower original gravity than the regular brew. Whitbread, Heineken's U.K. licensing partner for many years, brews this Heineken lager specifically for the British market. However, in recent years the taste of British drinkers has been changing. Beers with a higher original gravity in the 'premium segment' are gaining in popularity. Heine ken is responding to these changes by shipping Heineken Special Export from the Netherlands for sale on the British market. With this Special Export quality (with the same original gravity as Continental Heineken lager) Heineken offers British consumers a choice: the Heineken lager they are famil iar with, or the more full- bodied Heineken Special Export. in the Dutch Navy and was instructed to sail the ship out to Japan and officially hand it over to the shogun on the king's behalf. As the Japanese knew little about sailing vessels of that kind, the shogun asked my great-grandfather to stay in Japan for two years to train a crew for the ship", explains Mr. Pels Rijcken. Over one hundred and thirty years later history repeated itself a little. After being christened in Amsterdam, the full-scale replica of the Soembing weighed anchor and set sail for the Land of the Rising Sun. Eight weeks later the vessel docked in the harbour of Holland Village. But for Mr. Pels Rijcken the trip did not last eight weeks. He flew out to Nagasaki at the end of April. There, together with Mr. Enters, the director of Heineken Japan, he was inter- Asking the blessing of the gods for the ship. This is known in Japan as the 'shinto' ceremony. viewed by the Japanese press media and helped to promote Heineken's position in Japan. At the 'shinto' ceremony, in which the blessing of the gods was asked for the ship's safekeeping in the future, Mr. Pels Rijcken was present as guest of honour. That one telephone call early in January resulted in an unforgetta ble experience for Mr. Pels Rijcken. But it also enabled him to learn about his family's history. "Back in 1938 my father showed me a model of the 'Soembing' in Amsterdam's Maritime Museum. And he told me a little about his grandfather. For all those years I've kept those papers from the olden days, but never really looked at them. Now, thanks to this event, I've really studied them in much more detail." In both the Netherlands and Japan we can currently witness a new surge of interest for the relations that existed between both countries in former centuries. Mr. Pels Rijcken is meanwhile in contact with the University of Leiden and in this way he is contributing towards the research work into those remarkable links between Holland and Japan. A Japanese camera crew at work in Mr. Pels Rijcken's house filming for a programme about Holland Village and the 'Soembing'. "At the beginning of January I got a phone call from Japan Euro Promotions, a public relations bureau. They were trying to trace the great-grandchildren of the crew who sailed on the Soembing between 1854 and 1856. My great grandfather was master of that ship. All the great-grandchildren were invited to attend the ship's christening at a yard in Amster dam", recounts Mr. Pels Rijcken. Also present at that naming ceremony was Mr. Matsuda, the chairman of Holland Village. It was suggested that Mr. Pels Rijcken might perhaps also like to attend the 'shinto', the official ceremony that was to be held to bless the ship in Holland Village. Mr. Matsuda warmly welcomed this initiative. Meanwhile the Japanese press flocked to interview Mr. Pels Rijcken. He is in fact a descendant of the man who gave the first impulses for the establishment of the Japanese Navy in the last century. "I still have my great grandfather's original letters and snapshots in my possession. The Japanese television people even First meeting with Mr. and Mrs. Matsuda of Holland Village. called at my home to film the documents." "What made your great-grand father go to Japan?", we asked Mr. Pels Rijcken. "Holland had special links with Japan, even as long ago as the seventeenth century. The small peninsula of Decima off the coast of Nagasaki served as the trading post via which the Dutch were able to import their own goods and then ship Japanese products back to the Netherlands. In the middle of last century Holland's King William III offered the 'Soembing' as a gift to the Shogun of Japan. My great-grand father was a lieutenant-commander

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Heineken International Magazine | 1988 | | pagina 3