To celebrate its 150th anniversary, Heineken has revealed a new marketing campaign, featuring a limited-edition packaging, a new television commercial and playful branding on social media, temporarily renaming itself as 'Ainechen', 'Hekkenen', and 'Ainekan', with the message "However you choose to pronounce us. Here's to 150 years of good times!" The company has even introduced a special version of its logo, reimagined as 'He150ken'.
The new campaign is based on the famous words of Freddy Heineken, one of the most iconic personalities in Heineken's histoy: "I don't sell beer, I sell gezelligheid," Gezelligheid," a Dutch term, embodies the feeling of joy and delight in experiencing "good times. Heineken will prioritize "the good times" in its celebrations, measuring its success by the enjoyable moments it provides to consumers across more than 190 countries.
The company was founded in 1864 when Gerard Adriaan Heineken purchased a brewery in Amsterdam. In 1869, Heineken made a significant change by adopting bottom-fermenting yeast. Subsequently, in 1873, the brewery's name was changed to Heineken's Bierbrouwerij Maatschappij (HBM), and a second brewery was established in Rotterdam in 1874.
Bram Westenbrink, global head of Heineken Brand, expressed the brand's open-mindedness towards how consumers refer to them and the variations in spelling and pronunciation. He highlighted the importance of enjoying good times with Heineken, regardless of the details. Throughout its 150-year history, Heineken has recognized that the conditions, locations, and company for enjoying a beer are more crucial than getting everything perfect. While the ways people enjoy themselves have evolved and may differ across the 192 countries where Heineken is sold, the universal desire for good times remains constant, just like their beer.
Additionally, in collaboration with Dr. Chris Brauer, a human behavioral scientist from Goldsmiths, University of London, the Dutch brand developed the Heineken Good Times Index, a brand tracking metric. This index aims to explore the conditions that consumers require to experience the feeling of good times while enjoying Heineken beer.
Being150 years old, which can be considered relatively young compared to some other breweries, Heineken is certainly one of the most successful breweries in the world
Its rival AB InBev, based in Leuven, Belgium, can trace its roots back to the year 1366, with the founding of the De Hoorn brewery in Leuven, which later became known as Artois Brewery and eventually the home of one of AB InBev’s most prestigious beers, Stella Artois. However, InBev or AB InBev as it was called after the purchase of Anheuser-Busch in 2008, was created in 2004 from the merger of the Belgian company Interbrew and the Brazilian company AmBev which makes the company itself much younger.
The oldest still existing brewery in the world is believed to be the Weihenstephan Brewery in Bavaria, Germany, which traces its origins back to 1040.