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Heineken goes digital to promote UEFA Champions League in India

By afaqs! news bureau , afaqs!, New Delhi | In Digital | April 15, 2013
Heineken is the global partner with the league and will extend this partnership in India with several digital and on-ground activities.

United Breweries' premium beer brand Heineken, which had launched a social media campaign to search for a social reporter to report the final match of UEFA Champions League in London, has announced the winner who will fly to London to report the final for Heineken social media channels in India. Heineken is the global partner of the league and will extend the partnership in India with several digital and on-ground activities.

The Road to the Final Ad

According to the company, the winner, Akhil Shah of Mumbai, was selected from over 400 applications received on the brand's Facebook app. Applicants went through a three-stage selection process both online and offline that assessed their football knowledge and passion, apart from other softer attributes and personality traits. At an event held in New Delhi, the newly appointed social reporter was also asked to interview the captain of the Indian football team, Sunil Chhetri.

Sunil Chhetri and Samar Singh Sheikhawat felicitating Akhil Shah (Heineken Social Reporter)

The Facebook app on Heineken's Facebook page had an 'Apply Now' button which asked users to nominate themselves for the job. Users were asked to provide personal details, upload images that told more about themselves, and submit answers to some questions. Once the profile was completed, the app also asked the users to invite friends to vote for them to help increase their chances of winning. The app also had another section that allowed people to vote for the candidates who were nominated for the contest.

Speaking about the campaign, Samar Singh Sheikhawat, senior vice-president, marketing, United Breweries Limited, says, "Heineken has been associated with the UEFA Champions League for seven years now. Given the growing fan following that European football now enjoys in India, we decided to leverage our global partnership in India for the first time this year with a multi-pronged activation programme. We expect the campaign to make the brand more salient and desirable among young Indian consumers by leveraging a sport that they are increasingly relating to favourably."

Besides announcing the winner, Heineken also unveiled its plans to leverage its global sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League with digital and on-ground activations.

The brand unveiled 'The Road to the Final' ad, which features a football fan who receives a ticket to the UEFA Champions League Final. The problem is that he is on the other side of the world and faces a race against the clock to get to the match. However, he manages to overcome every obstacle in his way - to be rewarded with the ultimate football experience - a pitch side seat at Wembley, arriving just before kick-off.

According to the brand, the ad is being circulated via digital channels and social media in India; the brand's Facebook fans can also play a social pinball game inspired by elements of the new ad.

On-ground, across bars and beer shops around the country, Heineken has introduced 'The Road to the Final' promotion - where consumers can win Heineken merchandise and a chance to win a ticket to the final.

United Breweries Limited launched India-brewed Heineken Lager Beer from its brewery in Taloja, near Mumbai, in August 2011. Heineken is positioned as a super-premium lager beer and targets the discerning premium beer drinker in India.

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