Ron Amram, Heineken's senior media director, told AdExchanger that most of the brand's advertising remained focused on TV, but added: "What we're trying to do now is have a secondary line of communication, one that's more targeted."
He outlined some of the steps being taken, including more original spots for online and more sponsorships, but came back to the primacy of television.
"The trick is to do all that and still have a unified message that reflects the brand's TV messaging," he said. "That's the balance we're constantly attempting."
He also noted the scale of activity and engagement happening online and the debate about matching media investment with consumer behaviour.
"But it's harder to change brand behaviour without real consumer insight," he stated.
To that end, Heineken is working with Tremor Video, a video advertising technology company, whose head of market strategy, Doron Wesly, explained there were differences in viewing patterns, with engagement rates slightly higher for content made specifically for the web (2.72%) compared to TV content that had been repurposed (2.68%).
He also noted that made-for-web content generated as much engagement with ads as did made-for-TV shows that had been repurposed for the web.
Tremor found that 91% of ads run during repurposed TV content were watched in full compared to 83% of ads shown during made-for-web content.
Heineken's search for balance has also been aided by the quality of online ad inventory which both men observed had been improving in the past two years.
"There is a higher degree of curated sites, for one thing, plus the spending that's flowed into video for the past few years have helped elevate the space," said Wesly.
TV and video were becoming "friends with benefits", he suggested, in a reference to a recent research study undertaken by Tremor Video, which found that video on demand could add to the reach of TV and extend campaign messaging when television advertising is off air.
Heineken's work in this area gives further weight to a recent thinktank report that said the brand was the most digitally engaged beer in the US.
CORRECTION: This story was amended on 22/02/2013. Paragraph seven now refers to differences in viewing patterns for content (not ads as stated in the original). Paragraphs eight and nine add new data.
Data sourced from AdExchanger; additional content by Warc staff