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Heineken boosts mobile presence via Google partnership

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By Lauren Johnson

Beer giant Heineken has signed a digital advertising contract with Google to engage young consumers with mobile ads in more than 20 international markets.

The deal will have Heineken running advertisements across YouTube’s desktop and mobile channels. In return, Heineken will receive some access to Google’s customer data.

“The partnership between Google and Heineken will open Heineken’s reach to emerging markets on mobile,” said John-Paul Schuirink, spokesperson for Heineken International, Amsterdam.

“Google has the applications and software to help reach more consumers in ways that we don’t have the resources for,” he said.

Geo-based targeting
By running mobile advertisements on YouTube, Heineken is tapping into its young consumers with location-based targeting.

Not only is it an opportunity to expand the brand’s mobile efforts, it is also an opportunity for the brand to be recognized as a globally.

“Using mobile will let Heineken break out of their mold as being seen as a strictly European brand,” said Dale Carr, CEO of advertising firmLeadbolt.com, Sydney, Australia.

“It gives them the chance to join the pack of bigger companies like those in the United States that are leading the mobile industry,” he said.

Based on Heineken’s young demographic, going mobile will also mean they have a more loyal following due to consumers’ mobile habits.

Mutual partnership
The deal involves Heineken distributing commercials and promotions on YouTube, such as banners on Google, per Heineken’s Mr. Schuirink.

“In return for our advertisements, Google will share important analytics and knowledge about how to reach consumers digitally, and we are excited to gain their insight in an industry they clearly know well,” Mr. Schuirink said.

In particular, Heineken hopes their work with Google will help reach their specific demographic.

“Our target audience is males aged 25 to 35, so we know they spend a lot of time on both their desktops and mobiles,” Mr. Schuirink said.

“By partnering with Google, we see mobile as a tool to reach them,” he said.

However, this deal is not one-sided. Specifically, Heineken is hoping to help Google with branding.

“Heineken knows how to build brands, and we are looking forward to sharing information with Google about how they can do the same,” Mr. Schuirink said.

Global reach
Most recently, Heineken used an application to engage with soccer fans during the UEFA Champions League games in Europe.

The Heineken Star Player app let users play real-time trivia games while watching the soccer games. Heineken was also a sponsor of the UEFA Champions League games.

Additionally, the alcohol brand used text-to-win promotions at the Pitchfork Music Festival in Chicago in 2010 for a chance to meet music artists at the event.

“The partnership with Google will help Heineken get smarter with mobile,” Mr. Schuirink said.

“We are learning by doing and trying everything we can do to get into mobile,” he said.

“Mobile has increasingly become an important tool for us and our target demographic. We want to partner with someone who understands it, and we think that Google is the perfect company to do so.”

Lauren Johnson is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer. Reach her at lauren@mobilemarketer.com.

Written by Kees Winkel

July 1, 2011 at 11:47

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