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Heineken bullish on digital marketing

16-March-2012
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Heineken bullish on digital marketing

UB Group’s premium beer brand that was launched in September last year, Heineken, is all set to invest on digital and social media platforms in the next quarter.

Samar Singh Sheikhawat, Senior VP, Marketing at UB Group asserts that the company is banking heavily on the digital medium, as traditional mass media platforms in India restrict direct endorsement of liquor brands, for both soft and hard liquor.

In the current year, UB Group is planning to spend approximately 15 per cent of the total marketing budget of Heineken on the online and mobile medium. “Digital activation and social media in particular, are being used extensively to ignite conversations and connect with consumers,” said Sheikhawat.

The move comes in the wake of successful online campaigns of the brand, ‘The Entrance’ and ‘Open the World’ in India and globally.

“The brand has harnessed the power of digital media by launching its commercial, ‘The Entrance’, first on the digital platform rather than television. Only after three months from launch did it make its way onto television screens in 30 countries,” explains Sheikhawat.

In its larger marketing plan for the brand, Heineken is also banking heavily on online activation medium this year to connect directly with individual consumers mostly through sport, music and film platforms.

While globally the brand has partnered with several film companies and sport events, in India the plan is in an evolving phase. Sheikhawat said that the company is currently focusing on activating the brand at premium pubs, bars, lounges, restaurants and retail outlets, to drive awareness and trial, and leverage the brand’s proposition, ‘Open Your World’ across all marketing executions to connect with the consumers.

A large share of the marketing budget of the brand is also set to go onto social media platforms. The brand believes that its prime engagement tool with the consumer is the social media platform, primarily Facebook page of the brand that has close to 200,000 fans in India and 5.9 million globally, one of the largest in the segment.

Focusing on the right consumer

To connect directly with the young consumers who form a very important TG of the brand, mobile is increasingly becoming a key area of focus for the brand. “As internet is reinvented on the mobile platform that is smaller, more personal and personalised, and ubiquitously accessible, established forms of interactive advertising and engagement will also evolve with migration from PCs to mobile devices,” explains Sheikhawat.

With a focus at the rather younger TG, Heineken has launched an online application called Serenade. The application was launched last month. UB Group plans to launch more such interactive applications in near future.

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