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Heineken uncaps augmented reality app for closer look at sustainability

Heineken is tapping augmented reality mobile application Blippar for a new digital campaign that offers consumers a look at beer's ingredients while stirring up interest in sustainability matters by asking users to snap a photo of a Heineken bottle to unlock exclusive content and create selfies to share across social media.

The Legendary 7 campaign, named for seven farmers from Britain, the Netherlands, Greece, France and Germany who produce sustainable crops and barley for brewing Heineken beer, provides fans with the ability to engage with the brand beyond the bottle. Users can simply scan the Heineken label with the Blippar app to read the stories of these seven farmers, take a 7elfie and access the brand?s 2014 Sustainability Report.

?Heineken needs to assert and protect its premium position, and promoting the message of sustainability is a great way to position the brand,? said Ariff Quli, chief commercial officer, North America at Blippar, New York. ?Where better to deliver this message to its customers than at the moment of consumption by attaching to the packaging?

?Augmented Reality does this beautifully and allows Blippar to present an interesting and engaging experience that adds educational value to Heineken?s customers.?

Mobile enhancements
Consumers interested in virtually meeting the seven farmers may download the Blippar app for iOS or Android platforms and purchase a Heineken beer to scan the label.

Once the label is scanned, beer fans can view an animated film featuring the farmers, learn each of their backstories, and take a ?Legendary 7selfie,? which superimposes the user?s face over an image of one of the farmers in an amusing manner.

The selfies can then be shared across all social media platforms, which will certainly ramp up brand awareness.

?As mobile becomes a more pervasive element of brand experience, it?s critical that brands develop mobile and social strategies that both grow their customer base and retain brand loyalty,? Mr. Quli said. ?Both the mobile and social channels are key to engaging Heineken consumers, particularly as a complement to the broadcast media they do so well.

?It allows Heineken to tell more of the story through the customer journey, from initial purchase to the context of consumption,? he said. ?Social also helps customers amplify the campaign message by encouraging Heineken customers to share their blipp experiences, including selfies with the Heineken bottle taken via the Blippar app, across their social networks.?

Blippar has worked with many brands to offer similar selfie-taking features. This past September, consumers could scan the Quaker man on their Quaker Oats food items with their smartphone and take a milk mustache selfie to unlock more branded recipes (see story).

Meanwhile, the animated video is also available on YouTube.

Blippar has also made moves to affect the mcommerce world with its augmented reality functions. The mobile app, alongside Chinese ecommerce company Alibaba, recently revealed plans for next-generation solutions that promise to bring the real-world and digital experiences even closer together (see story).

Commitment to sustainability
The campaign is an ideal way of furthering consumers? interest in sustainability matters in a clever and engaging manner. Heineken is being forthright with its commitment to purchase 50 percent of its main raw materials by 2020 from sustainable sources.

Each of the Legendary 7 farmers produces sustainable hops and barley, which are then used to brew Heineken beer. The campaign was designed with a Wild West aesthetic, to depict how Heineken?s farmers are similar to cowboys of the olden days: by breaking down frontiers and traversing the unknown in nature.

An additive feature within the Blippar app is access to Heineken?s sustainability missions, which links back to its branded 2014 Sustainability Report. By showcasing these commitments, Heineken is able to promote corporate social responsibility and ensure that its fans are well-versed in how its business will augment environmental standards.

Leveraging mobile is an optimal way of reaching a wide audience, especially when presenting a creative angle. Heineken Light is driving sales of its low-calorie light lager by leveraging a mobile-optimized site with campaign videos featuring actor Neil Patrick Harris, and offering customers a money-back guarantee if their beer purchase does not satisfy their taste buds (see story).

?Heineken has a strong connection with its customers and the brand understands the importance of bringing awareness to the issue of sustainability,? Mr. Quli said. ?Fans all over the world love Heineken, but they don't all drink it regularly, as beer is a very fragmented category.

?While soft drinks have already implemented consumer engagement tactics, beer brands typically haven?t included user engagement elements. Fans of Heineken will love hearing more about a product they love, the core values of the brand and quality of the product, which will inspire them to choose to drink it more often.?

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York