One brand, different platforms (Part 2) Heineken builds on deepness of engagement

The world is too fast, complex and networked for any company to have all the answers inside

Yochai Benkler, author of The Wealth Of Networks

Last week, we highlighted co-creative initiatives of Danone and their preference for global/local communities. As a second part of our series about the way online platforms are being used as intermediaries by brands, we’ll have a look at Heineken, and three different co-creation campaigns run with different actors of the field – and on different platforms, including facebook.


A screenshot of the winning spot (source:

I already mentioned the UGC-platform Brandfighters when posting about Danone’s co-creation strategy last week, saying that they used it to ask Dutch creatives to make spots for a yoghurt. Heineken also ran a contest on Brandfighters, asking people to “Make the walking fridge summer sequel” (remember, these two sports with a giant walk-in fridge filled with Heineken, or a walking fridge who comes to the couch?). Both these spots where Dutch, and had a huge viral effect on the web – Heineken wanted to allow creatives to build on these to invent their own story. The compilation available on shows a compilation of some entries, and it seems that Heineken focused more on consumer-generated me-too spots than on really innovative new stories.


Part of the contest page on eYeka: consumers' ideas should obviously targets young, cool, active men

A different approach has been adopted to run a co-creative contest on eYeka, where creative consumers are asked to Invent a new Heineken experience. It’s not about content here, it’s about ideas/concepts: “Through text, photos, powerpoint presentations, collages, or videos, invent a new beer or a new cider drink that Jay would want to recommend to his friends at that special moment“, the brief says. By using a projective technique, people are told that the drink targets young people living in cities, and Heineken uses the platform to source authentic and innovative ideas directly from consumers. Since entries are confidential and it’s not a viral video contest, it’s less interesting to follow for regular consumers… but the brand benefits with this closed system.

If you want to see how a larger social network can be leveraged for co-creation,check out the following video that is aired on YouTube, the “Heineken Open Design Invite”. I say this because the main social network involved is facebook, with a Heineken brand page called Open Design.

This initiative, launched with inSites consulting, aims to get contributions about memorable club experiences. After gathering ideas, the co-creation process goes on and includes different communities and platforms, as you can see on InSites blog post. I think this campaign is very interesting since it combines consumer/designer collaboration and is run on a global scale. Consumers’ input, however, stops at being an inspiration for a “consumer journey map (that) will be created (to) visualize the needs, perception, experience and motivation of the club goers“. Finally, not only the end frame of the video (“Heineken Open Design Explorations: Edition 1 – The Club”), but also the structure/name of the facebook page (Heineken > Open Design) make me think that Heineken will probably air other co-design initiatives after The Club. Interesting and inspiring.

In a nutshell: I think that these initiative shows how Heineken wants different co-creation partners to do different things: brandfighters to get local video content, eYeka to source ideas on a global and confidential manner, and Insites Consulting to run a broad web & event-based co-creation campaign; that’s why this post’s title highlights ‘deepness of engagement’. Any remarks?

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