Turning Heineken into the World’s ‘Most Interesting’ Beer

First a disclaimer: Like the rest of the country, we love beer. In fact, we are unapologetic beer snobs. And while Heineken is a classic brand that works in a pinch, we find it to be a bit…lacking in the taste department (hey, to each his own, right?).

Why do we tell you this? Because these facts leave us even more impressed by today’s eMarketer interview with Heineken marketing director Lesya Lysyj, in which she discusses her brand’s huge Skyfall campaign, designed to turn a workaday brew into the world’s “most interesting” beer.

Did you know that Heineken’s Facebook page has more likes and greater user engagement ratings than any other alcohol brand? Neither did we! Lysysj describes Facebook as “a little research tool”, calls user engagement the most important metric around and explains her brand philosophy for Newcastle (another beer that’s been very successful in the digital world) as a “brutal honesty” campaign featuring taglines like “Newcastle Winter Ale. Our worst selling beer in the summer. #NoBollocks”. We like it!

The best part of the interview concerns the Heineken Skyfall campaign, a multimedia mystery designed to appeal to the company’s ideal customer (the “vibrant explorer”) with an interactive game/social app created after research told Heineken something that we all know: lots of people use mobile devices while watching TV. The idea was to create an ad spot that would encourage beer fans to immediately download the app and “Crack the Code.”

Surprise surprise: it worked. Check out the video to see why:

@PatrickCoffee patrick.coffee@adweek.com Patrick Coffee is a senior editor for Adweek.