To introduce and promote Heineken Extra Cold beer at European summer festivals, we developed a cool experience concept: a ‘polar expedition’ to set up its base camp at hot event locations. Thus, began the Heineken Extra Cold Tour, a promotional tour that went through 14 countries, such as Romania, Spain, Portugal, and Taiwan, and 31 different cities, assuring local people could get a taste of the product.
In search of the coolest beer for the hottest location, visitors got to cool down their own beer glass; without an ice-cold glass, one cannot enjoy Heineken Extra Cold beer as it will warm up too fast. Coats and hats were provided to enter the ‘cooling down station’ (clocking in at a cool -8˚C) where visitors and their glasses were being chilled in 30 seconds. After this, they were welcomed in the Ice Bar where Heineken Extra Cold was being tapped into their cooled glass. Through a special door, visitors could take their Coolest Beer to the Hottest Location. Here, the special audiovisual effects helped create a completely different world compared to the outside.
Heineken wanted to assure that those coming in the truck had a full sensory experience that emulated what it felt like to drink an Extra Cold Heineken. In order to assure that their consumers were wow-ed, they had several elements, the primordial being the aforementioned igloo experience. Other aspects of the show were the ice bar, which provided free samples, a live stage, and a lounging station complete with giant novelty ice cube chairs. These aspects created an all-around, impactful experience.
Due to the roadshow, Heineken was able to fulfill 3 very essential aspects of their campaign: 1) creating a point of contact with their customers during a daunting financial period, 2) increasing said connection due to the flexibility that a roadshow solution provides, and lastly 3), in some countries, Heineken further confirmed its exclusivity and prestige by taking advantage of the limited space and ephemeral nature inherent in a roadshow.
The first two points are interconnected. According to Informa BTL, beer sales from the previous year had gone down by 6% in Spain, making beer companies urge to push for more exposure in this country. Thus, these companies pushed for their events to encourage direct contact with their consumers to remind them of brand loyalty: if people were buying less, they should be buying from their brand. The roadshow, being mobile and striking due to its novelty in a world that is consistently pushing towards the digital, is the perfect solution to get in touch with as many consumers face-to-face as possible, creating a memorable experience. This was the solution for Heineken.
Not only did they take advantage of the mobility and flexibility of the roadshow by using the website “extracoldexperience.es” to have their customers decide where the truck would go next, increasing interaction and engagement, but also by targeting countries such as Spain in which sales were lacking due to their brand being seen as premium and unattainable. Regardless, the roadshow managed to simultaneously make them more accessible to their target audience, and keep their label of prestige abroad.
Lastly, an oft-forgotten, but very important quality to a roadshow is its “blink and you’ll miss it” quality, making it feel more exclusive than events done at a regular venue. The roadshow is a marketing solution that is both easily accessible, yet transitory. This creates the dichotomy of being approachable but also exclusive – a major benefit to a beer brand such as Heineken. Although beer is known for being the everyman’s drink, Heineken has carefully curated its image outside the Netherlands to be more high-end than some of its competitors.
This solution managed to compromise both of these aspects and integrate them into part of the experience. The Marketing Director of Heineken Operation in the Czech Republic, Jiri Irmysek, further confirmed this sentiment by stating that
“this is a unique presentation and introduction of Heineken’s premium beer innovation on our market. The limited access to the truck points to the uniqueness of the whole project and helps to perceive the premium in relation to the Heineken brand and beer”.
Jiri Irmysek, summarized it so:
“[The Heineken Extra Cold Experience] will generate new consumers who do not know this cold form of beer. The unrepeatable trend of the events will be presented by Heineken not only to new potential consumers, but also to constant consumers and fans of this beer”.
These three elements of the campaign: creating physical connections, embracing the benefits of the mobility and flexibility of a roadshow, and encouraging exclusivity, were all pillars in making this campaign a memorable and successful one, taking advantage of the impactful qualities of a roadshow solution.