Alcohol brands are beefing up their online presence. Even if they steered clear of digital marketing for quite long for various reasons such as advertising and restrictions, alcohol brands are quickly catching up. Social networks, mobile applications or virtual communities- alcohol brands are making inroads to the digital realm.

The nature of digital marketing itself is evolving where these brands have been forced to blend communications and commerce to survive or to correctly reach out to their audience. Digital marketing techniques are equally being innovated as platforms like Facebook, YouTube or even Google are undergoing constant changes and innovations.

 Heineken, the pioneer in digital marketing

It all started in 2007. When deciding to target the Puerto Rican youth, Heineken understood that neither a 30-second TV spot nor a traditional advert in the media would be enough.

To generate the impact it sought, the brand decided to have recourse to a “virtual universe” by setting up the Heineken City with the collaboration of the ad firm JWT. It tried engaging customers by allowing them to interact by using points- named “heikens”- earned when playing branded games on the website of Heineken or on Facebook. This marketing strategy proved to be a hit, with 10,000 loyal Heineken consumers.

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