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Club bottle under UV light setup

Heineken’s brand strategy with China’s electronica scene










To engage its trade partners and a community of electronic music lovers.


Heineken has been regularly running its Heineken Green Room parties throughout various states in China. According to a Heineken spokesperson, it has been bringing in international DJs to China to raise the standards of  dance parties in Shanghai as well. Outside of Shanghai, the parties have been running in states such as Suzhou, Hangzhou, Wenzhou, Taizhou, Ningbo, Nanjing, Wuxi, Jiaxing, Huzhou and Hefei as well.

The Green Room parties are held in popular clubs and open to the public while recruitment of “Green Roomers” are done through sign-ups at the doors. Subsequent parties were limited to those who have signed up, or regular customers at the party-venues.

Heineken sends out digital invites to the clubbing community (online websites and event emails) as well as the public to drum up awareness of the events. Pre-event publicity is done mainly through social media networks and email databases, with pictures of past Heineken Green Room parties circulated to generate interest in the coming events.

All guests who signed up at earlier Green Room events are invited. There have been various Heineken Green Room parties to date in China, with international DJs such as Paul Van Dyke, Cassius, Zedd, Steve Aoki and BT&Jes featured. These events were held in popular clubs in Shanghai, eg Bar Rouge and MINT located along the famous Bund area, Arkham (an underground club in town), as well as Club G+ located in the trendy area of Xintiandi.

At each event, the Heineken Club bottle was served. The club bottle was a specially imported aluminum bottle imported from Amsterdam that glows under the UV light. Laser beams, UV lights and smoke machines were used to re-create the illusion of a “green room” space within the club, and dancers on stilts and laser lights mingled with the crowd on the dance floor. There are also interactive dance segments at every party, with the dancers interacting with the images and Heineken Club bottle on screen.



While the Heineken Green Room parties were designed to build the long-term equity of the brand, and not solely to increase short-terms sales volume, the brand has seen the distribution of the brand proliferate to many more outlets in Shanghai – a market long dominated by the hard liquor and champagne brands, Ricky Zhang, Heineken brand manager, East China told Marketing Events.

Across the 30 or so Green Room events that were held, each Heineken Green Room party was packed to the brim, with long queues at the door. There was an average of 800-1000 event goers, with the last Heineken Green Room Party held in Arkham packed with nearly 1,000 people.

There was PR coverage across Sina, Tencent, City Moments Shanghai, Youku, Tudou, Channel Young TV, That’s Shanghai, Shanghai Daily and Time Out Shanghai.


One of the biggest challenges in organising the events was sourcing for new venues for each party and ensuring that the parties are not held in the same club within a six-month period.

What were some contingency plans for the event?

“Two international DJs were selected for every event, in view of the strict visa clearance of the country for foreign entertainers. Also, careful planning is also necessary to ensure that there is a constant supply of ice-cold Heineken for each event,” Zhang added.

For future events, Heineken is looking to constantly innovate itself to strive to enhance the experiences of the party goers at every event.

“Branding at the venue is also an important part, as we are constantly exploring newer and better ways to engage our consumers through innovative and high-technology executions within the venue. Last but not least, choice of venue plays an important role to creating an unforgettable party experience for our events. As such, a lot of care goes into the selection of the party venues, as well as to ensure that each chosen venue fits the prestige and image of the brand,” Zhang added.

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