Dutch brewer Heineken has failed to build its international credentials in the UK, admits group commerce director Peter van Campen.
In an exclusive interview with Marketing Week, days before Heineken’s return to television advertising in the UK after a gap of two years, Campen says: “I know that many UK consumers are not aware of the international position of Heineken but we are slowly getting there.”
The remarks come as the brewer gets ready for the UK roll-out of the Heineken draught keg and Heineken Extra Cold as it rebuilds its brand portfolio.
“In the UK the brand positioning has historically not been in line with what our brand stands for in the rest of the world, which was why he repositioned four years ago. However, we are not as big as we were in the past,” he says.
The brand was relaunched in 2003 as a premium strength lager, leading to a subsequent drop in sales. Two years later the brewer also decided to axe UK television advertising in favour of press and poster ads and increased focus on its Champions League sponsorship.
Campen adds that Hein-eken’s strategy for luring new drinkers into the fold will include an innovation programme including the launch of the Heineken draught keg and Heineken Extra Cold.
The Extra Cold, which is served at zero degrees, claims to be creamier and less bitter than the standard Heineken. The draught keg is a patented five-litre barrel with a CO2-infused tapping system.