Heineken believes that brands can deliver successful, purpose-led content campaigns if they “hit the right tone” and are realistic about what they can achieve. The Dutch brewing company recently launched its own campaign centred on social change to a hugely positive reception.
Heineken’s “Open Your World” campaign debuted in late April and included a core message urging Brits to come together, find common ground, break down barriers and be open with other people who have opposing views. It featured pairings with different views on climate change and other subjects and was shot as a real-life social experiment.
Cindy Tervoort, Heineken’s Head of Marketing for the UK, has revealed that the campaign came to fruition after nine months of hard work and following world events such as Brexit. It centred on the viewpoint that “empathy, openness and tolerance” are falling by the wayside in the modern world.
Purpose-led marketing is defined as a content campaign that engages a target audience through a shared interest or need, especially when it supports a worthy cause. Heineken’s ad has resonated with viewers and consumers alike, with Tervoort revealing that sentiment has been “97 per cent” positive during its first few weeks.
“It’s also about hitting the right tone and playing the right role,” she said. “We’re not suggesting we will achieve world peace [through the campaign], but what we can do is drive those conversations and inspire people to meet and connect. So, it’s actually about being humble about the role you can play.”
Being socially aware and hitting the right mark is vital, as evidenced by the recent fallout following Pepsi’s ad campaign featuring Kendall Jenner, which was criticised for mirroring imagery from recent social rights movements. Heineken’s campaign has already been viewed more than 11 million times on YouTube, and it shows that brands have a unique opportunity to enter meaningful conversations with consumers about important subjects.
Tervoort concluded: “It is important to me that people understand that we don’t feel that we have the answer and that we’re going to solve all problems. But we can contribute and bring people together. To be honest, the campaign is only two weeks old, and in a positive way, we’re a bit overwhelmed by the response.”