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Interview: Heineken hits 28m PR impressions with Pasir Panjang Power Station party

Interview: Heineken hits 28m PR impressions with Pasir Panjang Power Station party

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Heineken recently pulled out all the stops for its latest Heineken Silver brew via the Heineken Silver Smooooth Warehouse Party at Pasir Panjang Power Station on 15 June. Gerald Yeo, marketing director of Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE in an interview that the team wanted to remind Singapore of what an epic night out felt like when unveiling its latest brewing innovation. However, Heineken knew that the standard music-led event wouldn’t cut it.

“It was imperative that we facilitated a refreshing introduction to the world of beer to excite the new generation of drinkers in Singapore,” Yeo said. Taking inspiration from the global” Unexpectedly Smooooth” campaign, he explained that the idea was to send the message that an exit from stuffy situations can be smoother than one thinks, with Heineken Silver. Hence, the Heineken Silver Smooooth Warehouse Party was conceptualised.

Targeted at Millennials and Gen Z of legal drinking, the experiences at the party were curated to resonate with their social culture and mirror the energy of the generation while providing a playground of Instagrammable moments. While Yeo declined to comment on the monetary investment behind the party, he told MARKETING-INTERACTIVE that more than 3,000 fans were present at the event and Heineken was the first brand in Singapore to bring back a music-led event of such a scale since COVID-19 restrictions were lifted within the night scene.

In addition to user-generated content from party goers, the Heineken Silver Smooooth Warehouse Party was amplified by media and key opinion leaders in attendance. In just one night, Yeo said the event generated more than 1,000 pieces of social media content inclusive of earned coverage. Inclusive of pre-event content, the campaign’s PR efforts garnered an approximate total impressions of about 28 million, according to Yeo.

Following the official launch at the Heineken Silver Smooooth Warehouse Party, the brand will roll out an extensive integrated campaign spanning digital, out-of-home and on-trade activity. For example, Heineken will co-create social media content with influencers and release ad placements in high-impact sites such as the ION Dragontail, Rendezvous Hotel and Play+ displays around Singapore. Heineken held the party at Pasir Panjang Power Station given its heritage and underground vibes. “We knew that the space would appeal to our target audiences in this post-pandemic, revenge travel reality, reminding them of warehouse parties in cities such as London and Berlin,” he explained.

Four sections were created, with the dancefloor being one of them. Heineken created a one-of-a-kind, immersive audio-visual show featuring an international line up of DJs including  Flight Facilities, Palms Trax and Floyd Lavine, plus local favourites Ice Cream Sundays.

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To complete the experience and complement the beats, Vienna-based artist studio Lichterloh transformed the dancefloor into a visual spectacle delivering a mix of strobe lighting effects and visuals on two LED screens.

There was also a retro-cool arcade zone offering a mix of classic 80s electronic and modern VR games and a Star Tunnel that offered Instagrammable moments for partygoers.  The Star Tunnel was a life-sized tunnel shaped after the iconic Heineken Star, featuring Heineken Silver’s swoosh imagery.

The main intention of the party was to live up to Heineken’s disruptor mentality, Yeo said. “With Singapore’s evolving drinking culture, we are seeing younger consumers not only wanting a beer that can be paired with any social setting, but also a beer brand that takes its cues from an equally bold and disruptive world. Hence, it was vital that the launch of Heineken  Silver set the tone and resonated with a new generation of beer drinkers,” he added.

Through the event, the team wanted to show how the new brew was “a catalyst for social occasions that are more authentic, casual and easy-going”. According to Yeo, the event also provided its trade customers with the opportunity to experience what the new generation of beer drinkers want from a night out.

Heineken worked with The Teeth, AKA Asia, dentsu Redstar, and Idea Fabrik for the party. However, the road to success wasn’t easy because the team was working with just a fraction of the time it would usually need to produce an event of this scale. “The planning process began as soon as the authorities announced the lift of the COVID-19 restrictions on the nightlife industry, giving us just about two months of lead time to plan, produce and promote the Heineken  Silver Smooooth Warehouse Party,” Yeo explained.

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Nonetheless, Heineken remained undaunted. In fact, the brand is no stranger to hosting music-led events, including the Heineken Pre-Race Party in 2019 for F1, which was headlined by Flume, and our its Heineken Green Room events. “As a brand, we have always believed in the power of music to spark meaningful connections and touch lives, and we’re excited to be able to bring these music-led experiences back to fans,” Yeo said.

“Over the coming months, Heineken Silver will also be bringing the very best in music, taste, and fashion together in a series of activations to provide Gen Y and Z drinkers with refreshing experiences, inspiring them to continue to spark meaningful connections and embrace their individuality,” he added.

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