Monday, June 29, 2009

Oh Baby Heineken, You Don't Got What I Need

"Oh baby you, you got what I neeeeeed but you say he's just a friend..."
How many times in the past month have you sung along to Heineken's 'Let a Stranger Drive You Home' commercial? How many times has someone said this was their favorite? What about the Heineken 'Walk-In Closet' commercial? Everyone seems to LOVE and have high recall of the Heineken commercials, so congratulations Wieden+Kennedy you've created some brilliant ads for my least favorite beer ever!

After working on new business pitches for Asahi Beer and Stella Artois in the UK, I have taken interest in beer advertising because so much of beer sales depend on branding and not taste.

It's surprising that I dislike Heineken especially since growing up in Hawaii, we live by the motto 'Keep Hawaii Green'. Heineken is the second most popular beer in Hawaii (after Bud Light). Hawaii is the 'number one market per capita for Heineken in the U.S.' and has the most localized and aggressive Heineken marketing strategy, sponsoring local music events, bars and clubs. Locals also take pride in their 'greeness' by starting businesses inspired by Henieken branding, such as and Green Bottle Productions.
The past four years I've been living in Boston--the most saturated beer advertising city I've ever been to. This Sunday, I saw a Heineken bus wrap and laughed (Bahstan? A Heineken City? NEVAH.): I have seen my share of Coors Light and Heineken subway takeovers and Rolling Rock and Bud Light billboards, but when it comes down to what I order at the bar, advertising seems to do very little to my decision. I may order a UFO White, Blue Moon or Snakebite; however, the girl next to me at the bar may order a Heineken, Stella or even worse Michelob Ultra. That's when I think to myself, Damn, advertising does work.

In the end, it's a win-win situation for me.

1 comment:

  1. funny, because my agency handles all the media buys for heineken. guess we're doing a pretty good job.