Thursday, January 28, 2010
Heineken’s U.S. sales grew consistently with the introduction of ‘‘It’s All About the Beer.’’ The brand’s estimated sales were at 35 million cases in the mid-1990s; by 1999 that figure had grown to 47 million cases, and in 2000 Heineken saw another 10 percent increase, with sales of 54 million cases. The sales increases were seen as directly tied to Heineken’s new brand image, and the brew’s measured-media spend of an estimated $34 million in 1999 grew to $50 million by 2001. Additionally, Lowe Lintas was tapped, in 2000, to adapt the concept of the campaign for Heineken markets worldwide. Hillary Chura noted in Advertising Age, ‘‘Heineken’s game plan—to broaden the brand’s appeal—allowed the lager to break records, shatter stereotypes and register consecutive years of healthy growth.’’ Gerry Khermouch of Brandweek said of the campaign, paraphrasing Heineken’s Steve Davis, ‘‘It clicked on all three requirements for a winning campaign: it broke through, was entertaining and offered a provocative, relevant message . . . By contrast, even the best work on Bud and Miller often clicks on just the first two criteria.’’
In 2002 Heineken moved its advertising account from Lowe Lintas to D’Arcy Masius Benton & Bowles, because Lee Garfinkel, the most instrumental figure from the outset of the campaign, had himself taken a job at D’Arcy in January of 2001. Heineken waited for Garfinkel’s non-compete clause to expire before moving its account to his new agency. D’Arcy continued the ‘‘It’s All about the Beer’’ campaign in work that paired the established beer-centered theme with holiday subject matter. Heineken changed agencies again in 2003, enlisting Publicis New York, but stayed on message, extending ‘‘It’s All About the Beer’’ in well-received TV spots as well as outdoor ads and radio spots in the following years.