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Heineken taps 'transcreation'

News, 26 September 2016

AMELIA ISLAND, FL: Heineken, the brewer, is leveraging an approach it calls "transcreation" in order to more effectively engage multicultural consumers with shopper marketing.

Jonathan Simpson, Senior Director/Shopper Marketing at Heineken USA, discussed this topic at the 2016 Shopper Marketing Conference held by the Brand Activation Association (BAA), a unit of the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

More specifically, he reported that the organisation's attempts to reach multicultural audiences had been aided by looking considerably beyond one-size-fits-all messaging, or simply translating general-market material into Spanish.

"We talk about 'transcreation', rather than translation. It starts with the same idea, but the way it's brought to life can be subtly different," said Simpson. (For more, including further details of this strategy, read Warc's exclusive report: Heineken's approach to multicultural shopper marketing.)

Drilling down into this idea, he suggested it does not always require marketers to start "with a completely different concept" than general-market efforts. But they must assess any knowledge points through a culturally-aware lens.

As a demonstration, he cited messaging aimed at Hispanic consumers during the holiday season, and which reflected the fact that beer most powerfully enters the celebratory equation at a distinct point in time.

"We often show, for [the] general market, people sat around with food and so on, and clinking bottles of Heineken together for a celebration," Simpson said.

"From a Hispanic point of view, we talk about the 'sobremesa', which is the time after the meal when the food has gone, people are more relaxed, and that's when the beer – and the spirits, and the wine – tend to come out.

"Just that little shift: That enabled us to be much more successful when targeting Caribbean-Hispanic and Mexican-Hispanic [consumers] in the case of Heineken. So the 'transcreation' idea is really really, important – and it has to be authentic, and it has to be built off an insight."

Data sourced from Warc