Brewer pushes Continental supping style

Heineken is trying to change the drinking behaviour of the British public with a new advertising campaign after a hiatus of two years.

The campaign will persuade British beer drinkers to take up the Continental way of drinking lager in smaller measures with a bigger head. It will draw attention to the brand’s Continental roots, addressing the concerns of group commerce director Peter van Campen (MW last week). Van Campen admitted the Dutch brewer had failed to build its international credentials in the UK.

Heineken UK marketing director Iain Newell says the brewer believes the continental way is best: “The best way to drink Heineken is with a thicker head. The campaign will reinforce that while trying to change drinking behaviour.”

The company is planning activities to promote this style of drinking with a 2cm head. It has launched its first TV ad for two years, created by Red Brick Road, focusing on drinking beer with a bigger head.

Newell says the strategy will set Heineken up for the next ten to 15 years: “It takes time for people to adjust.”

More than 95% of lager is consumed in pints, according to Newell, who says the company now wants to push smaller measures, as are drunk on the continent. Heineken has designed new half-pint glasses that have extra space to accommodate a bigger head. The larger head improves the taste, according to Newell.

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