Heineken USA is putting an end to the practice of concocting a pithy phrase to sell suds, believing that the practice has gone staler than last week’s beer.
The brewer conducted consumer research on the relevancy and recall of taglines in today’s media environment and found diminishing returns. “The percentages were super low,” says Bernardo Spielmann, senior brand director for the Heineken brand. “We said, ‘Let’s simplify the process.'”
So rather than ending ads with a cute phrase, new ads simply conclude with the word “Heineken” and its familiar red star logo. “We think that Heineken stands for a set of values rather than a set of words, and I think people will see that,” says Heineken USA Chief Marketing Officer Jonnie Cahill.
The new campaign attempts to reclaim the brand’s standing as a social beverage with ads portraying it consumed in high-energy occasions, like soccer viewing and a wild party. “We are re-affirming what we’ve always been, which is a product that enhances people’s social lives and helps them enjoy life a little bit more,” Cahill says.
Trying to squeeze in a tagline might’ve just gotten in the way of that goal, especially in the digital media environment in which brands are running shorter videos. “Everybody’s under efficiency pressure from media-buy side,” Cahill says. “You really have to value the worth and impact of every second. I guess 20 years ago when we were doing this, you had time,” he adds. But now, “You have to make sure the seconds are really driving an emotional resonance.”
Heineken already had robust ad testing process in place. But the marketer is adding more review layers that extend beyond traditional consumer focus groups to include academics, social leaders and community groups, Cahill says the goal is to understand nuances and “really challenge the creative and look it in a way to say, ‘Are we good here?'”
Schultz, E. J. (2018, June 14). Are Taglines Still Relevant? Heinken Says No. Ad Age.