Heineken ditches branding for ‘credible’ social media campaign

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Heineken has created a new social tool on Twitter as the next phase of its global ‘Cities of The World’ campaign, which has seen the beer and cider brewer omit its own brand name to provide ‘more credibility’.

Watch this recent promo video for Heineken's cites campaign here:

The @wherenext platform aids consumers by helping them “unlock the secrets of their city” by providing restaurant, café and bar suggestions based on their location.

The tool works by using an algorithm that listens to social media activity, such as tweets, check-ins and photos across Twitter, Instagram and Foursquare and analyses which locations are trending.

The user needs to tweet ‘@wherenext’ with their location and the service will respond will a variety of options and a link to a mobile-responsive website, containing reviews and images.

The service is the result of market research that consumers from different cities want to experience new places to heighten their social currency.

For example, Rio de Janeiro city dwellers see happiness as the absolute mark of achievement, whereas in London people want to define success for themselves, Heineken adds. The tool’s recommendations attempts to represent these cultural nuances in a way that makes localises Heineken in each market.

Speaking to marketing magazine The Drum, Paul Smailes, Heineken's global head of digital, said: “Yes, it’s a branded utility, but one of the key things we decided was that we didn’t want to do this on a Heineken handle.”

Smailes added: “We felt doing it on @wherenext provided more credibility for people to use it. What we found out from research was that there were varying degrees of credibility of trust for a brand to do it, people felt like, ‘Is this just going to be a Heineken bar finder service?’ We absolutely did not want to provide that kind of service or the perception that that was what we were doing.”

“It’s about providing real tangible value to consumers and certainly brands these days have a bigger uphill with consumers…people are getting more savvy about brands and marketing, so brands really need to change how we have that value exchange with consumers by providing something that has meaningful value to them.”

Heineken said it may use technological advances in the future to tackle excessive drinking.

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