Content brand of the week: Heineken, the beer brand that’s not for girls

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What does a sulky Finnish racing driver have to do with content marketing?

I think you mean Kimi Räikkönen?

So Heineken never crashed out of the Monaco GP and walked immediately to its yacht before sinking its weight in champagne and beer?


Shame. So what has Heineken done to win content brand of the week?

Heineken has recently jumped onto the Tumblr bandwagon in a big way with not one, not two, but three different blogging strands launched in the last month. Taking advantage of Tumblr’s capacity for easily connected multiple blog streams Heineken has created what are essentially three mini content hubs.

You could say they’re ‘pint-sized’ content brands?

Yes, I sup-pose you could. The first blog focuses on visual representations of popular cultural phenomena. Called Thursday Theories, it’s a (mostly) weekly-updated repository of neat, simply-styled posters on a particular subject. So far nightclubs, sports and bands have all received some design-led attention.

Neat! What’s next?

A single click of the Heineken masthead is all it takes to get to ‘Heading out with…’, which focuses on the nightlife of different sub-cultures. In one the Heineken team have a night out with Mexican make-up artists who specialise in day of the dead face-painting. The next story is all about kicking it in Hong Kong with the city’s urban cool-hunters.

What’s a cool-hunter?

Honestly, I have no idea. Finally there’s ‘People worth watching’, our personal favourite. It’s all about adventure and exploration, profiling people who have done something extraordinary.

So the beer bods have got blogging sewn up. Is this their only foray into content?

Not at all, earlier this year Heineken launched ‘Dropped’, a massive online series that saw some very adventurous blokes dropped into a far-flung corner of the globe and told to make their way back home using just their wits, charm and natural tenacity. The series consisted of 15 episodes, covered 6 countries, and got more than 35million views on YouTube.

Impressive. I can’t help thinking beer brands are usually more about taking the traditional mass-appeal ad route though? A bikini-clad woman holding a bottle of ice-cold suds, that kind of thing…

Absolutely. While that certainly used to be true it’s becoming something of the past now. In fact, what’s most noticeable about Heineken content is the total lack of women involved, bikini-clad or not. The introduction text on the ‘Dropped’ homepage is pretty clear on the subject, “we’re plucking guys from their everyday lives and dropping them into a world unlike anything they’ve ever seen.”

That’s some pretty serious segmentation! I guess Heineken decided it was more trouble than it was worth to get women drinking pints of fizzy lager?

Indeed, but you can’t fault Heineken for clarity of vision. The brand knows its target audience is predominantly male and interested in travel, sports, nightlife and music. The content it produces reflects that in a strikingly direct way.


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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media.

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