Rosie Davenport
The relaunched higher strength Heineken will make its TV debut next month in a series of commercials promoting its global presence.
Although the iconic Refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach' strapline has gone, fans nostalgic for Heineken's trademark humour will not be disappointed. The ads poke fun at social stereotypes to show Heineken has not lost its marketing edge.
The creatives test the validity of various beliefs including Dutch liberalism, the neutrality of the Swiss, and Americans fondness for lawsuits.
Heineken's marketing director, Leslie Meredith, said: "In the past people thought Heineken had nice advertising but wasn't a very nice beer. Consumers think refreshing means watery. With these ads we had a double job to do. We didn't just go for a good laugh because we need to get the message across that Heineken has changed."
The ads are part of a £24m relaunch drive kicking off with an outdoor poster campaign. A radio campaign is also planned.
The beer has gained listings in a number of multiples although Sainsbury has yet to commit.
A senior buyer at one retailer said: "We're listing it but we're not taking some of the larger formats until it is established."
John Ricketts, the brand's off-trade sales director, said: "We want to make sure the market understands Heineken has changed."