CAPE TOWN: Heineken, the beer brand, has reported a "huge success" for its recent experiential event in Cape Town, a local adaptation of its #ShapeYourCity campaign.

This is an evolution of its Cities of the World campaign, which set out to show consumers that even though Heineken was a global brand it wasn't an international outsider but an all-knowing insider and one which encouraged drinkers to get out of their comfort zones to experience new parts of the cities they lived in.

"For South Africa we focused on Cape Town, Johannesburg and Durban and during the last few months of 2016 we invited people to vote for the city they believed should be awarded a City Shaping experience," Themba Ratsibe, Heineken SA marketing manager, told the Financial Mail.

The brand posted content on social media which gave a feel for what the final event would be like and when Cape Town emerged the winner, it then tied up with a range of influencers and creatives to develop an experience that would celebrate the city's culture.

"Together with our local partners we set out to discover a forgotten space in the city which we reshaped and transformed for a two-week celebration in the last two weeks of January," Ratsibe explained.

In this case, the event centred around part of the central business district, transformed through 3D lighting and urban artwork, and including a sound stage and a night market; entry was free to anyone who had registered online to attend.

"Both weekends were a huge success," Ratsibe reported. "We trended for 15 hours on social media the first weekend and trended again the second weekend.

"This really was due to the huge support we had on all three nights of the event, with over 1,700 people attending," he said. "Heineken fans are asking for more such events. Our challenge is how we continue to offer these differentiated experiences."

Ratsibe added that he regarded such an approach as "extremely important as it allows us to drive our brand proposition and, by providing fans with an experience, it allows consumers to relate to the brand".

Data sourced from Financial Mail; additional content by Warc staff