What’s up with Heineken USA?

Heineken USA has gone from being one of the few success stories in the beer industry here to being a brand that changes ad agencies every five minutes.

When i worked on Budweiser, Heineken was the enemy.

Bud drinkers would frequently ditch the brand in higher profile social situations like night clubs in favor of the green bottle from Amsterdam.

Because it was perceived as more sophisticated.

But that was before the A-B/InBev merger.

And now A-B has its own Heineken: Stella Artois.

Stella is a potential Heineken killer in this country.

It looks and feels more sophisticated and European.

Suddenly Heineken doesn’t look so hot anymore.

It feels a bit like a relic from the 90s.

And being perceived as “old” can be death for a beer brand.

At least that’s what I’m guessing is going on here.

8 responses to “What’s up with Heineken USA?

  1. Think you’re dead on about the brand feeling old. Similarly Corona vs. Dos X.

    Although I will say these airport bars are a pretty cool idea. They should open more… http://www.moodiereport.com/document.php?c_id=31&doc_id=19566

  2. Is The Escape running over there?

    Pretty nice I think.

    • dos equis is a good analogy. i think the advertising in the USA has brought the brand down. not sophisticated enough.

  3. not sure bentos. i like that one a lot. very nicely done. should run everywhere. which of course it does online.

    heineken should only run ads like that over here. unfortunately they fall into the trap of doing rather obvious beer, ahem, comedy where grown men act like children due to mere presence/absence of beer. oy.

    • They are running it over here indeed.
      It’s one of those ads that runs on ESPN and the guys I live with shut up to watch it.
      It makes heineken look fun and slightly sophisticated. A good combination as far as I’m concerned.

  4. Sorry that I am late. Ballerina in Vermont keeping me busy during the week lol.

    I never liked Heineken. It was kind of skunky to me. I like Amstel. But my choice for Euro Beer was always Becks, Spaten, and now Stella is in the mix. It is very clean tasting but still has character. You are dead on about the Pre-now we have every beer on earth and micro brews in the US era. Much easier marketing when the competition is limited.

    Last night in this kind of divey bar I asked for Stella and go it in a stemmed beer glass. Seriously I just need a good pint mug LOL

    But isn’t the whole booze/beer/wine industry fracturing into a gazillion choices? How does one stand out aside from taste.

    • i would argue that this blog is better than a ballerina howie. but would fail.

      heineken is very skunky by the time it reaches these shores. but the fact that the perception that it tastes better trumps this reality is very telling about the category.


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