Heineken USA to target Hispanics with new venue

NEW YORK: Heineken USA continues its push into the growing Hispanic market with the debut of a pop-up performance space and art gallery, called The Spot, in New York City's Nolita neighborhood tonight.

NEW YORK: Heineken USA continues its push into the growing Hispanic market with the debut of a pop-up performance space and art gallery, called The Spot, in New York City's Nolita neighborhood tonight.

The Spot by Heineken, in partnership with creative house Remezcla, opens its doors tonight and for the next three weeks will feature artists from Latin music and culture to connect with the consumer audience, said Tara Carraro, senior director of corporate communications at Heineken USA.

"By 2020, ethnic consumers, including Hispanics, are going to drive more than 70% of all growth in the beer market," Carraro explained. "It's an incredibly important demographic, and right now Heineken is the only non-Mexican beer brand with a significant presence among Hispanics in the US. What we've tried to do with this program is create a distinctive and integrated program with a clear and consistent message that Heineken is what's next in Latin music and culture."

Heineken USA is working with MSLGroup and RL Public Relations on the project. Carraro declined to disclose the PR budget.

"It's been a combination of traditional and non-traditional PR tapping into influencers to leverage their social communities to also push the word out," said Melissa Smith, EVP of RL Public Relations, the AOR for Heineken's Hispanic efforts.

Meanwhile, MSLGroup is handling pitches to the general media. The agency is the AOR for the Heineken brand in the mainstream market.

The new venue will host live concerts, art exhibits, and film screenings from more than 30 artists and organizations, including Kinky, Tego Calderon, and the New York International Latino Film Festival.

The cultural hub is being supported by a website run by Remezcla, with ties in social media components such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. The site will give access to events via videos, music, and interviews with the artists.

"The insight of the program was local, but it wasn't just about New York City," Andrew Herrera, CEO of Remezcla, said about the website. "What we set out to do is find ways for people to experience this in San Francisco and other markets that have vibrant Latin music communities and followings, and to spread the message."

Carolyn Concepcion, brand manager at Heineken USA, said that depending on the success of the NYC event, consideration may be made for a pop-up, or similar event, in a different city next year.

This year, the beverage brand has launched a number of Hispanic-targeted initiatives, including the Heineken Voces grant at the 2011 Tribeca Film Festival, the Leadership in Seville program in collaboration with the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, and the CHCI-Heineken USA Music Scholars scholarship with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.

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