Heineken ad embraces interactive TV

6 Jul 2007

Interactive digital TV ads are here to stay for big brands, a senior brand manager at Heineken Ireland told siliconrepublic.com after some 15pc of Sky digital TV viewers in Ireland hit the ‘red button’ during the ‘Memory Hotel’ ad campaign.

In fact, says senior brand manager with Heineken, Colm McNamara, Irish viewers showed a greater propensity than their UK counterparts to interact with digital TV ads.

According to Sky Research, 64pc of Ireland’s 400,000 Sky viewers demonstrated awareness of the interactive element (the red button) in the ad compared with the UK average of 51pc.

“It was the first time we ran an interactive ad campaign in Ireland and 15pc of Sky viewers -some 55,000 people- clicked on the red button which brought them to a ‘making of’ video”, McNamara confirmed. “In the UK only 7pc of viewers responded to the ad.”

It is not surprising that 67pc of people who responded to the ad were male, and that the 25 to 34 year-old age group were the highest in terms of interaction.

Heineken launched the ‘Memory Hotel’ ads back in April. This was the first advertisement devised by Heineken to contain an ‘interactivity’ element which was aimed at establishing a deeper relationship with its consumers.

Digital viewers have the option of watching the story of the commercials by clicking the red button on their remote controls.

The ‘Memory Hotel’ adverts represented an investment of over €1m (€5.5m total spend) by Heineken and are a first in the Irish market. The ads were produced by McCann Erickson in Dublin and were shot in Brazil.

Interactive TV is at a very early stage in Ireland but with 400,000 digital enabled homes in ROI it is sure to be an area of focus for advertising in the future, according to McNamara.

“Choice is becoming more and more important in our lives,” says McNamara. “The interactive nature of TV is going to have a profound effect on advertising going forward.

“Whether its digital TV or internet sites like YouTube, people expect to have more control over what media they want to consume. SkyPlus is the main innovation in the market today allowing people to choose what they want to see, pause it or record it.

“Choice and more control are important and people will want to consume media on their own terms. Interactive TV is a good example of that and will be a feature of future advertising campaigns for brands like Heineken,” McNamara told siliconrepublic.com.

By John Kennedy

Pictured – a character from the Heineken ‘Memory Hotel’ ad campaign