According to New York Times media columnist, Stuart Elliott, here's what the campaign's all about:
"The centerpiece of the campaign featuring Mr. Harris is the celebration by Heineken USA of an award won by the new version of Heineken Light as the 'best-tasting low-calorie lager' at the 2013 World Beer Championships."
But is that really the centerpiece?
Here's the first ad of the just-released campaign.
Again from Stuart Elliott's piece, this is what Heineken's top marketing guy said the campaign was supposed to be all about...
"Since forever, Heineken has stood out for distinctive taste, and Heineken Light should (too).... so the most important thing driving the campaign” will be “the improvement of the liquid.”
That's music to our ears. We have long championed the importance of product news in changing consumer behavior in favor of your brand. So we heartily agree with the marketing guy's mandate.
What the agency delivered
According to the ad agency's creative guy...
“We want to get Heineken Light back in people’s minds, and when they hear the claim ‘the best-tasting light beer’ we want the reaction to be, ‘I want to taste it.’ “But the twist is that you can’t actually drink the beer” in commercials, he added, “and that’s funny.”
•"When they hear the claim 'best-tasting light beer'?" So, why was this claim only spoken once and never dramatized or featured in any way?
•"That's funny?" What exactly is the point of being funny? In fact, what is the point of spending 90% of a commercial trying to be funny when the entire purpose of the commercial was to sell "the improvement of the liquid"?
Ad guys like this one who put their interests-- "funny ads" being very high on that list among his ilk-- designed to further their reputations ahead of the interests of their client, are marketing criminals. They deserve quick, unforgiving marketing justice.
So, some advice to Heineken. Forget funny and ask yourself: After watching that 60-second commercial (1) Do you remember the claim, and (2) Did the commercial make you want to drink a Heineken Light?
If your answers are "no," and "no,"
Fire the agency.
A better beer deserves... better.