To cement its status as the “original beer of Amsterdam,” Heineken created “A ’Dam Fresh Heineken,” a campaign that emphasizes the brand’s roots in the city while incorporating innovative uses of travel data and chatbots on Facebook messenger.

Heineken worked with DDB & Tribal Amsterdam to target young men who had recently booked a trip to the city. Travel data from hotels and airlines was used to identify the target audience, with banner ads then utilized to encourage people to engage with the campaign.

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A ’Dam Fresh Heineken campaign

Since a Heineken takes 28 days to brew, travelers were sent photos and regular updates via Facebook messenger about their personalized beer over the course of the 28 days before their visit. Participants could ask the Facebook chatbot questions about the brewing process, while the bot asked them questions about what they wanted to do in Amsterdam. Upon arrival, the beer, complete with name, flight data and a personalized map of Amsterdam, was waiting for them in the Heineken brewery.

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A ’Dam Fresh Heineken campaign

In another example of a personalized activation for travelers, the Legoland theme park in Florida worked with agency VML to create an app to enhance the journey to the park. After entering their starting location, children using the app were provided with a map of the route to the park featuring 60 points of interest, woven into a Lego-branded adventure narrative. The campaign collected multiple awards this year at Cannes Lions, including in a category recognizing activations by location.

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As consumers seek out authenticity in local connections, large brands are fighting an uphill battle when it comes to reaching travelers. Heineken’s campaign managed to insert the brand into a narrative that was specific to Amsterdam, helping consumers discover the city in a personalized way.

We can expect to see more campaigns that target travelers by destination, as brands seek to appeal to millennials who prize experiences over goods.

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