The Real Genius of Heineken


Heineken’s new Worlds Apart/#OpenYourWorld campaign is groundbreaking in some ways. It feels so right for our divided times. It’s a completely original, non-advertising idea. It ends up being fairly emotional without ever trying to be anything other than honest.

But in reading the background on FastCo it has at least one thing in common with the best advertising ever done: It’s rooted in something bigger than the product. According to Heineken’s UK Marketing Director, the brand “wanted to bring meaning to its value of openness.“

Mission accomplished, don’t you think?

The next time you’re handed a brief for an undifferentiated, boring, uninspired product or service, my advice is to stop focusing on the product. Instead, do what Heineken and Apple and Nike and Coke and the other giants have done. Look at the values the brand shares with your audience. Of course, there’s no guarantee that lightning will strike. But at least you’ll be standing under the right kind of tree.


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