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Branding Heineken

February 27, 2011

Honolulu can be a bit off the beaten track when it comes to the latest in business and culture, so there is an extra sense of appreciation when something cool from the outside world lands in Hawaii. Last week AAF-Hawaii organized a presentation by Remco van der Sluis, the managing director of Holland’s dBOD, a creative agency responsible for, among other things, Heineken’s visual identity. Remco regaled the crowd with his tale of Heineken’s recent brand refresh, which centers around a new iconic bottle design and a subtle update to the legendary logo. The update is not as bold as Starbucks’ recent refresh, but similar in approach. More interesting were some of the creative niche campaigns they came up with: aluminum bottles with graphics that change when exposed to black light (for the raver set), a super-chilled Heineken poured from a special tap and served in a branded glass, and a design-your-own-bottle campaign that allows people to custom design and order their own original bottles online. Each of these campaigns, Remco points out, are ingenious ways of getting consumers to pay a premium for what is essentially exactly the same product. Who says design can’t give you a measurable return on investment?

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