25 May 2000

Dutch-owned brewing giant Heineken NV is so taken with the humorous campaign for its flagship beer brand created by the New York office of Lowe Lintas & Partners Worldwide, that it aims to export the US shop’s creative brew to the rest of the world.

Heineken has now extended the agency's remit worldwide – a seminal move for the brewer whose international campaigns, which vary from country to country, have been produced by local agencies, among them WPP’s J Walter Thompson, Bates Worldwide, and Lowe Howard-Spink in London.

Says Amsterdam-based Frazer Thompson, global brand director at Heineken: "We've got to raise the bar on creative. So the first place you turn is to the people who are doing it well …it can be a challenging environment, shall we say, but that's good for a marketeer. This should be seen as a challenge to the local agencies," Thompson added. "Any work they're creating, we'll benchmark against [Lowe’s] global pool."

Heineken’s successful US campaign is themed It's all about the beer with humorous vignettes, known as "beer moments", in the lives of drinkers, particularly men ages 21 to 24. The ads differ markedly from rivals’ efforts, most of which are laden with nudge-nudge humor and scantily clad "babes."

Heineken’s US adspend runs to about $40 million. Since the brand is sold in 174 countries, widespread acceptance of the Lowe creative could confer a “champagne moment” on the New York shop.

New York Times