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How Heineken Ramped Up Its Online Presence & Sales Through Three Meticulous Facebook Campaigns

Founded in 1864, Heineken, the Dutch brewing company, has grown to have a presence in 192 countries globally. Today Heineken is one of the biggest beer and beverage producers in the world, including celebrated brands such as Heineken, Amstel, and Cruzcampo.

With a global advertising presence, Heineken is also one of the world’s most advanced media planners and buyers, and constantly monitors the efficiency of its campaigns, which can be seen in its campaigns across the Malaysian, Vietnamese, and Spanish markets.

1. HEINEKEN Malaysia

Heineken Malaysia Berhad (HEINEKEN Malaysia) produces and distributes popular drinks, including Heineken, Tiger Beer, Guinness, and Apple Fox Cider in Malaysia.

Their Objective

Heineken wanted to support both neighborhood bars and street food vendors in Malaysia that were impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown period via a multi-brand, multichannel campaign.

Solution & Approach

HEINEKEN Malaysia launched the "Raise Our Bars" and "Save Our Street Food" campaigns, which urged people to purchase vouchers via a microsite for beer or cider from the brewer's portfolio.

HEINEKEN Malaysia matched the drinks that the consumer paid for, donated all the proceeds of each sale to a participating local bar or street food vendor, and provided the products for voucher redemption at no cost to the outlet. In addition, Tiger Beer donated a further RM 1 million to help street food vendors cover their rent.

The campaigns featured video ads that directed people to the microsites, and four of the company's popular brands – Heineken, Tiger, Guinness, and Apple Fox Cider – ran the ads to bring greater awareness to the company's message and goal.

The ads were targeted to a broad audience of people between the ages of 21 and 65 living in Malaysia but excluded those with interests in the Muslim community and lifestyle. HEINEKEN Malaysia also offered video ads in both English and Mandarin, delivering one or the other based on people's language preferences.

The Result

HEINEKEN Malaysia’s Facebook campaign performed incredibly well and resulted in more than 200,000 website visits. The campaign led to the sale of 46,000 mugs and bottles of Heineken, Tiger Beer, Guinness, and Apple Fox Cider via vouchers purchased during the Raise Our Bars campaign. Also, 28,800 vouchers were sold during the campaign via vouchers purchased during the Tiger SOS campaign.

2. Heineken Vietnam

In response to government restrictions during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the Heineken Vietnam team needed to rethink its usual sales and marketing strategy to drive online sales.

Their Objective

Heineken sought to work with Meta and an e-commerce partner to learn more about how to unlock a new online sales channel for its entire business portfolio.

Solution & Approach

After partnering with Meta and Vietnamese e-commerce marketplace Tiki, Heineken took a test-and-learn approach to spur online sales by launching an always-on campaign of Collaborative Ads.

The campaign featured photo ads in the collection format that showcased the different beverages Heineken offers – Heineken, Strongbow, and Tiger. A call-to-action button encouraged people to visit Tiki to make a purchase. To test the efficacy of an always-on strategy, Heineken and Tiki offered frequent flash sales to motivate shoppers to take advantage of a better deal.

Heineken used the website conversions ad objective and served its ads broadly to people between the ages of 18 and 40 in Vietnam. The team also used the website Custom Audiences to reconnect with shoppers who viewed or added Heineken or similar products to their online carts.

The Result

The Facebook campaign by Heineken Vietnam was a roaring success as it led to a 2X higher return on ad spend for the total brand portfolio. Also, the campaign registered a 3X higher return on ad spend for Tiger and a 2X higher return on ad spend for Heineken.

3. Heineken Spain

Heineken Spain’s Facebook campaign established that its return on investment for Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns was 71% higher than previously thought, after a custom marketing mix modeling study analyzed the longer-term effects of its campaigns.

Their Objective

Heineken Spain wanted to build a clearer picture of the short- and long-term impact on sales of its advertising investment, and the contribution made by brand-building campaigns.

Solution & Approach

Heineken worked with digital marketing specialists RainMan to develop advanced marketing mix modeling techniques that might capture the delayed effects of marketing variables on Heineken baseline sales.

For their study, Heineken and RainMan analyzed over two years of Heineken marketing activity (January 2018–July 2020), including traditional media (such as TV) alongside digital media (such as Facebook). The Facebook and Instagram activity that ran during this period included photo ads, video ads, and in-stream ads, all targeted to a broad audience of people ages 18 and older.

At the end of the study, Heineken discovered that 13% of its sales of Heineken could be attributed to the legacy effects of previous brand-building marketing campaigns across all channels. This was an important confirmation of the long-term value of all of its campaigns. And importantly, the study also revealed that Facebook and Instagram were delivering a much higher return on investment—and more sales—in the long term than was previously thought.

The Result

Heineken Spain’s Facebook performed outstandingly well and resulted in 1.7X higher sales gained from advertising investment from all marketing channels, once the longer-term effects of campaigns are taken into account. Also, it led to a 71% higher return on investment gained from Facebook and Instagram than previously thought.

Bottom Line

Facebook has become one of the most sought mediums for brands to reach their target audience and drive maximum awareness. With a plethora of features that Facebook offers from video ads and augmented reality ads to Facebook pixels and automatic placements, Facebook has truly emerged as a highly reliable platform for brands to get their message across to their potential consumers. All you have to do is have a solid idea about how you want to use this platform to raise awareness around your brand. And it looks like Heineken certainly got that right!


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