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Heineken: ‘We want to be the benchmark of creativity in a mobile world’


By Natalie Mortimer, N/A

December 7, 2016 | 3 min read

Heineken has for the past few years made noise about its focus on creativity as a differentiator in a crowded category, and now with mobile increasingly dominating media consumption, the brewer has a new ambition; to be “the benchmark of creativity” in a mobile first world.


Heineken: ‘We want to be the benchmark of creativity in a mobile world’

As part of this lofty aspiration, Heineken is leaning on its internal ‘creative ladder’, a rigorous system that scores an advert’s creativity on a scale of 1 to 10, with one being ‘destructive’ and 10 being ‘legendary’. All campaigns are reviewed by various agency creatives and internal marketers with the ladder acting as a barometer; anything below 5 doesn’t get through.

Heineken is now hoping its creative thinking will help it dominate creativity in the mobile world, particularly on video where it is experimenting wih how it can devise the most thumb-stopping campaign, while exploiting the technology available to it.

“Heineken is a massively creative company… and we have a developed a creative ladder with the objective over creating benchmark, best in class communication,” Ian Wilson, senior director global, digital and marketing development at Heineken told an audience at Eurobest. “We are one of the only brands in the world to have done this, and we teach this to everyone it is ingrained in the company.

“Now we need to move on and we have set this as our ambition; we want to be the benchmark for creativity in a mobile first world. We now have to fill the technological pipes with legendary poetry. So mobile is all digital and technology and that is fine but the key is to fill it with creativity, [and think] how do you exploit that technology with creativity?”

Wilson continued that while the brewer uses programmatic advertising and databases to find and target consumers, “everyone can do that, but creativity not everyone can do and that is where Heineken wants to be different in this world of mobile”.

Elsewhere, Heineken in the US is pushing its heritage credentials in the wake of the craft beer explosion, with more further communication planned around that in the region.

“You’ll see focus on that in the States, and we want to reassure Heineken is not just a common Budweiser type brand, this a real Dutch, carefully made brand with a lot of heritage,” added Wilson.

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