Heineken USA innovates on mobile

16 October 2014

NEW YORK: Heineken USA, the brewing group, believes that native and programmatic advertising can both play an increasingly important role for brands as they seek to reach consumers via mobile.

Ron Amram, the firm's senior media director, discussed this theme while speaking at Advertising Week 2014, an event held in New York. And he suggested contextualised native advertising has great potential on mobile.

"What we're finding - and this is kind of an evolution that we have to undergo as marketers: the more customised your creative is, [the more] you have to leverage the native ability," he said. (For more, including a case study featuring the Desperados brand, read Warc's exclusive report: Heineken USA's mobile marketing mandate: Stop the thumb.)

"If you are not understanding why your ad is a perfect fit for a consumer in a specific context, then you're not talking to them in that specific instance, and it's not going to be as relevant and as effective."

Native is especially powerful as a brand-building tool - a trait which appeals to Heineken USA's natural impulse towards "upper-funnel media buys" that enhance core marketing metrics.

"For us, there's a huge opportunity there, because – specifically with mobile – there's the element of personalisation." Amram continued.

"So, you're adding geography and passion, because the mobile device is so personal. You're adding so many other touchpoints to the consumer that other media types don't have."

Programmatic advertising – which involves the automated buying of inventory based on the profile of individual consumers – is another emerging opportunity for marketers on this channel.

One advantage of that model, according to Amram, is that it makes the purchasing of media much less "opaque" than previously. Such a benefit will become more apparent as programmatic spans across a growing range of media.

Additionally, an automated strategy in this space can allow brands to operate intelligently, at speed and, ideally, at significant scale on mobile.

"If it's combining all of those three things all together, the transition will probably happen very quickly," Amram predicted.

These two trends, in tandem, also point to a clear movement towards delivering personalised messaging to a brand's target audience on wireless devices.

"The media now – from a programmatic sense, from a native sense – allows you to do that. So if you're not leveraging that with your creative, you're holding back the impact of your campaigns," said Amram.

Data sourced from Warc