Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Heineken’s effort to expand the U.S. market for its beer depended on appealing to younger drinkers. As Beverage Industry noted, ‘‘a 25-year-old averages 65 gallons of beer per year, while a 55-year-old sips 15 gallons.’’ Among 21 to 35 year olds Heineken particularly focused on urbandwelling trendsetters, ordinary but sophisticated beer drinkers. Davis told Brandweek that Heineken’s ideal consumers were younger people ‘‘who tend to be opinion leaders. They are visible, self-confident, and risk-takers.’’ The brewer also needed to counteract these drinkers’ perception that Heineken was a beer strictly for special occasions in bars and restaurants but not for everyday, off-premise consumption. To thus broaden its appeal, the brand had to strike a delicate balance between its hard-won image as a superior product and its desire to appear more ordinary.
‘‘It’s All About the Beer’’ accordingly used irreverent humor while showing the product, in television spots, being consumed in settings far less rarefied than those traditionally associated with the brand. The campaign focused on universal ‘‘beer moments,’’ occasions when the presence of Heineken significantly affected otherwise ordinary behavior. This approach enabled the brand to show its lighter, more populist side, while also managing to keep the focus on the high quality of its beer.