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Case Studies


Heineken Beer 'Auditorium Football’ PR campaign

Heineken Beer 'Auditorium Football’ PR campaign

Best practice from JWT Italia, Milan, Italy.


We involved our target into a brand experience completely unconventionally. The same evening as the UEFA Champions League big match Real Madrid-Milan, we created a fake event combining poetry and classical music. Helped by our 200 accomplices we persuaded 1000 AC Milan fans to skip the match on TV and go to the concert.

Gradually revealing the trap, we rewarded our audience and let them enjoy the match on a big screen offered by Heineken. Through PR activities we created an enormous buzz around the event, so that the brand experience could be lived by other millions people that were watching the event live on TV, that read about and viewed it on the news/blogs/web the days after.

The Brief

Our main beer drinkers (males 18-24) are growing up and now duties and responsibilities put their sacred moments spent with friends around a beer increasingly at risk. We needed to remind our target the importance of preserving those moments and, taking advantage of the UEFA Champions League sponsorship, we capitalized on the most sacred one: watching the football match on TV. We wanted to develop the brand philosophy and to empower the Heineken’s role of offering the greatest entertainment moments.


We opted for a “one-to-one-communication”, supported by invitation cards, a poster campaign aired in Milan, direct mailing that reminded of the event. We also involved journalists and sport celebrities as victims or accomplices. Heineken’s was emphasised with one to one PR and press office activities based on well-balanced trade-between tradition media (newspapers, magazines and TVs) and new ones (web, forum, social network).


We had three main phases: the victims’ recruitment, the concert, the post-concert (buzz). During the first phase we used 200 accomplices that persuaded our victims to skip the match. Some of those victims were sport journalists that we decided to involve so that they could have been direct witnesses of that brand experience. For the recruitment phase we used a local poster campaign (aired in pub and Universities in Milan), mailing and press office activities to announce the event. During the concert we got the complicity of SKY TV that broadcasted it live and helped us in involving also TV viewers in the trap. The days after a wide PR activity spread the news and created a big buzz on the event.

The Situation

The idea of activating PR activities came out taking advantage of the opportunity to communicate the way the brand was creating entertaining moments for its target to a wider level, showing the great and relevant consistence with the brand positioning and philosophy. Heineken is the main sponsor of the UEFA Champions League, and we took the opportunity of empowering this sponsorship turning it into a unique brand property.


1000 people have been directly involved. Over 6 million people followed the event live on TV. Other 10 million people saw it on the news the days after. A million people spoke about it and commented positively on websites and blogs worldwide. 10 journalists were involved as victims or accomplices. The buzz on it was very high and contributed on empowering the brand awareness and, even more, the closeness between the target and the brand.

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