Byravee Iyer
Mar 21, 2014

Heineken’s Rene De Monchy on ‘The Odyssey’

Last month Heineken launched an unusual campaign titled ‘The Odyssey’, which featured 20 non-actors playing the same role. The intent was to show that every man is capable of something legendary.

After commentators on YouTube questioned the authenticity of the men in the ad (above), Heineken responded cheekily. The brand unveiled a video showing casting sessions for the commercial and said “No tricks, no fakes. It’s all real. Everyone is legendary at something.” Heineken has also launched an interactive version of the TVC, which allows viewers to explore the casting sessions of each man in full (see below).

In addition the company is extending the campaign beyond the TVC by launching the Heineken Open Design Explorations platform, and Singapore is one of four cities worldwide that the brand chose to participate. The effort involves asking talented designers around the world to co-create the 'ultimate' nightlife experience, and four shortlisted Singaporean designers have been given the opportunity to co-create the lounge of the future with 16 other designers from Warsaw, Mexico and New York City.

Campaign Asia-Pacific talked to Rene De Monchy, head of marketing, Asia-Pacific Breweries Singapore, about the campaign.

Where did the idea of the 'Everyday man' come from?

The Odyssey campaign was built around one strong belief: that everyone has a legendary talent. The way we will prove this to the world is by encouraging our consumers to take an active role, to break out of their everyday lives and show the world that everyday men can have legendary talents. 

How are you leveraging it across digital?

Digital is a key medium to connect with our target audience, and we have created various chapters of the Odyssey story to tell it to our consumers, which will hopefully inspire them to show their legendary talents. Our digital-exclusive films include a casting clip to recruit our everyday men, as well as short films showcasing each of our 20 legendary men. 

Can you share Heineken’s brand building plans in Asia?

As a brand, we strive to continuously engage and inspire our consumers through campaigns that tell an authentic story, are memorable and [are] locally relevant. We are focused on leading the way with Heineken in creating interactive touchpoints that allow us to surprise and delight our target audience at unexpected moments. More details on our upcoming campaigns will be revealed in the near future. 

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