Heineken toasts Ad Impact victory as ‘The Entrance’ keeps RWC rhythm going

Youtube VideoThe dust has largely settled after the glorious Rugby World Cup shindig. But Heineken has kept up the momentum of the 46 percent increase in total sales it recorded in September/October when compared to the year prior after being awarded the Ad Impact Award for October for its new ad ‘The Entrance’, which was launched Super Bowl style at half-time during the final.

In the ad, which finishes with the new global tagline ‘Open Your World’, a suave young chap breezes through a series of unexpected encounters and meets 11 different characters on his journey (back stories that explain how they know each other can be viewed at www.heineken.com/nz).

“This Cannes award winner is really memorable. It engrosses the viewer in an entertaining and enjoyable way,” says Harriet Dixon, senior account manager at Colmar Brunton. “The impact is strong.”

The campaign, which was created by Wieden+Kennedy in Amsterdam, has already launched overseas but Heineken New Zealand decided to hold off here until the RWC was over to provide what Heineken marketing manager Luke Rive calls a “clear space and a fresh platform”.

Having pouring rights in the stadia and Fanzones certainly helped boost sales. But Rive says it’s actually just a small percentage of its total sales.

Rive says they weren’t too sure what to expect from the hugely popular Fanzone at Queens Wharf, but says it was a great, very well-organised and positive environment (as such, it was also a good place to launch its sober driver taxi campaign). And, given the way the whole country fully embraced the tournament, he says it was a great event for the brand to be associated with.

He says the Heineken big wigs, many of whom ventured to New Zealand for the tournament, were very pleased with the way the event panned out and the performance of the DB team (four staff worked full time on the event 12 months before the event) in bringing the sponsorship to life.

“It was a real bonus to have the eyes of the Heineken world on us,” he says. “So we took the opportunity to show them what DB could do.”

As for the performance of its main competitor Steinlager, whose savvy white can campaign was applauded by many in the industry, Rive says a rugby analogy is appropriate: “We concentrated on our own game.” And it’s very happy with the results, he says. Obviously Heineken pays a pretty penny to be associated with the event (no-one’s sure exactly but estimates on SportsPro Media value the deal at US$10 million) and, as evidence of how valuable the property is to the beer brand, it has signed on again as the official beer supplier of the RWC for the 2015 tournament in England.

Youtube VideoA close second in the October Ad Impact round was the new Pascall’s Swirl ad by DDB NZ that features a creepy old fairy dishing out Swirls and positions it as a sweet you should eat after both banal and important events.

“This ad delivers compelling news, in a humorous and enjoyable way,” Dixon says.

DDB NZ launched the campaign for Pascall in Australia in July and it quickly became a semi-internet meme, with a number of Facebook pages popping up and Twitter trending.

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