Heineken consolidates PR roster under Edelman

WHITE PLAINS, NY: Heineken USA has consolidated its PR agency roster and expanded Edelman's existing role with the company to include work on most of its brands.

WHITE PLAINS, NY: Heineken USA has consolidated its PR agency roster and expanded Edelman's existing role with the company to include work on most of its brands.

Edelman has been awarded the beer company's flagship Heineken and Heineken Light brands, as well as Amstel Light. MSLGroup previously served as AOR for the brands.

In July, Edelman was named corporate communications AOR for Heineken USA and consumer AOR for the Dos Equis brand. MSLGroup served as the corporate AOR for the company since 2006, and Hill+Knowlton Strategies worked on the Dos Equis business since June 2010.

“Edelman is a highly decorated agency with whom we've recently worked on the Dos Equis brand and Heineken USA's corporate practice,” said Colin Westcott-Pitt, VP of marketing for Heineken. “We're impressed by their strategy to continue the growth momentum for brand Heineken, and we look forward to developing engaging consumer activations.”

The firm's New York office will lead the account, said Adrienne Hayes, GM of Edelman's New York consumer marketing division.

“[Heineken has] great programming, great caché, and a lot of pop culture relevance. It's a brand that is universally known and our job will be making sure that it's not just universally known but universally loved,” she explained.

The agency will engage both general market and Hispanic consumers, said Hayes, with a focus on Hispanic outreach being “baked in, not just bolted on” to the outreach efforts.

Edelman's multicultural practices sits within its consumer marketing division, and Hayes said the agency is focusing on fully integrating Hispanic engagement into a lot of its clients moving forward. Former Porter Novelli executive Sonia Sroka joined Edelman last month as EVP and group head of multicultural marketing.

"MSL New York is very proud of our work across the six-year partnership on Heineken, Heineken Light and Amstel Light,” said an MSL spokesperson via email. “We wish the Heineken portfolio of brands continued success as they move forward in the marketplace."

Hayes said Edelman will also work with branding and marketing agency Epiphany, which handles urban marketing for Heineken.

In September, the company launched its Star Bottle design, and Edelman will continue to promote it as it hits stores nationwide in March 2013.

“It's still the same great beer on the inside, but it is a really significant packaging shift that brings the brand into this modern day without changing that liquid inside everybody loves,” said Hayes.

In addition to Edelman, Heineken appointed Zambezi as advertising AOR for Strongbow Cider, and Wieden+Kennedy New York, which already manages general-market advertising and social media for Heineken, will handle Hispanic activations for Heineken and Heineken Light.

Formula PR works on Heineken's Newcastle Brown Ale brand, while its sister agency Formulatin, which specializes in Hispanic consumer outreach, manages Tecate and Indio. Strongbow does not work with a PR agency.

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