Magazine article Marketing

My Month: Jacco Van der Linden

Magazine article Marketing

My Month: Jacco Van der Linden

Article excerpt

Heineken's UK marketing director on celebrating the brand's 150th anniversary, product launches and making moderate drinking an aspiration for young adults.

January is always a hugely significant month for me. Returning to work from a relaxing break, there is always a strong sense of pushing the reset button. This year it marked my second anniversary as UK marketing director, and writing this column has caused me to reflect on how much has changed in that relatively short period of time.

I am really looking forward to the coming year. It will be the first full period that we will have had our new marketing structure in place and fully staffed. It is designed to support new ways of working and improve our capabilities in emerging communication channels. We will also be increasing our overall marketing investment to a level that will drive growth. This is a huge vote of confidence in our UK business, and means we now have the right people with the right capabilities in the right team structure to meet ambitious commercial challenges. This means our focus can turn to delivery and unlocking the potential of the team we have assembled over the past six months.

'Dance more, drink slow' is a simple, if counterintuitive, strapline for a cider and beer business, and something we were very excited to launch in January. Referred to as #DMDS in the critical social-networking domain, 'Dance more, drink slow' is a global Heineken campaign that aims to make drinking in moderation an aspiration for young adults. It is an important part of our culture of 'doing the right things right', and the belief that the responsible enjoyment of alcohol, perhaps in a great pub or club, is worth campaigning for.

In the UK, we activated this campaign with a television commercial called 'Sunrise', which is currently airing as I write. Globally, we have collaborated with DJ Armin van Buuren to create unique content that builds on our long-term 'Enjoy Heineken responsibly' campaign. The sales and marketing of alcohol in the UK is very successfully self-regulated and, as professional communicators, we have a great opportunity - and a responsibility - to influence positive behaviours and patterns of consumption.

The first half of 2014 will bring an unprecedented period of innovation and new product development in our UK business. …

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