New Heineken® commercial signals change of mindset in advertising The makers of Heineken Netherland's walk-in fridge ad knew they had a gem in their hands, but the commercial's enormous success took even them by surprise. One key strategy was to put the ad on YouTube and a number of blogs shortly before its broadcast release. World of Heineken 40 - summer 2009 In this image from the foilow-up campaign, the friends make the acquaintance of the 'walk-in' walking fridge. "From pre-market tests we knew the ad would do well. However, it reached an audience scope that we've never experienced before," said Heineken Marketing Manager Floris Cobelens. The ad, which features a walk-in fridge filled with Heineken beer that the new owner's friends respond to with wild enthusiasm, attracted three million viewers on YouTube within three weeks of its release in January this year. The ad was the 27th most-watched video on YouTube globally. "And it required no extra cost to put it on the web," Cobelens said. Further proof of its popularity was the spoof on the commercial that competitor Bavaria came out with a few months later. This is not the first time that Heineken has previewed an ad shortly before the official release. "Our current strategy is to present an ad to select media entities on the web, like to YouTube and some blogs. Sometimes we also feature them on specific television shows," Cobelens said. "The strategy works both ways: the media entities are happy because they are getting a scoop, and we get publicity." The internet will become increasingly important in the future of advertisement, Cobelens said. "It's a borderless medium that goes around the world." Another advantage is that a hit on the web guarantees that a person is actually watching. "It is a much more active process. With television, you're never sure what viewers are doing during commercial breaks." Cobelens warned, however, that making successful commercials with the internet in mind requires careful consideration, and is still not cheap. "It's more a shift in cost: whereas before a big chunk of the budget would go into selling the ad, it is now more focused on creating an ad that really speaks to the consumer." "Today the game is all about making products that engages our consumers, instead of pushing our message. Once you have developed something that really pleases consumers, they will easily share it worldwide." F.Cobelens@heineken.nl 37

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World of Heineken | 2008 | | pagina 107