Heineken raises the bar with a holiday ad campaign in Germany

The German beer market is uber competitive. This Heineken advertising campaign looked to connect with German beer drinkers ahead of the holiday season.

International beer brand Heineken wanted to engage with German beer drinkers on Spotify ahead of the 2022 holiday season with a simple message: The best gifts are in the fridge.

To brew up interest about the brand, they worked with Spotify's creative strategy team to craft a storyline linking Heineken to the theme of holiday togetherness. The resulting audio and podcast ads offered audiences a nuanced glimpse of the beer brand's sense of humor.

Media mix:

Brand vertical: Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG)
Objective: Favorability, Engagement
Target audience: Listeners Ages 18–39, Socialites and Partiers
Targeting used: Age, Interest/Behavior, Mood/Moment
Market: Germany
Flight length: 12/5/22–12/22/2022
Format: Audio Everywhere, Podcast Media

The Brief:

Heineken's iconic green bottle is recognizable around the world. Still, tapping into certain markets can be a challenge—Germany, for instance, is home to more than 1,500 breweries,1 making it difficult for even the biggest brands to stand out among the crowd.

Heineken was also aware of a taste barrier between their pale lager and Germans' traditional preference for wheat beers, white beers, and German pilsners. They aimed to drive awareness and favorability with a holiday-themed campaign.

The Solution:

Heineken had never before launched an audio-first campaign, so they needed a little guidance to get their first one off the ground. Spotify's creative strategists pitched podcasts as an ideal venue for Heineken's advertising campaign because of the medium's intimate nature and propensity to drive higher ad engagement levels according to research (+16% higher compared to all other media).2 With copywriting support from Netherlands-based agency Boomerang, the Spotify ad production team then drafted the creative, taking the known tagline "Cheers auf die Neugier" ("Cheers to curiosity") and aligning it with the overall campaign narrative as well as German culture. The ad suggested that listeners bring a pack of Heineken to their next holiday gathering.

Spotify matched the Heineken ad campaign to two Original & Exclusive German comedy podcasts—Fest & Flauschig and Hobbylos—which were great venues to leverage the brand's own sense of humor and connect with Heineken's target clientele.

Together, the creatives at Spotify and Boomerang led the script writing and ad recordings. They crafted one ad for pre-, mid-, and post-roll podcast placements, and a second for music content, to reach listeners across the Spotify Audience Network. Thanks to the agency and Spotify's combined creative forces, it took just three weeks to move from ideation to the start of the campaign.

Hear the ad for yourself...

00:00 / 00:00

(Language: German)

The Impact:

Heineken and Dentsu were pleased with the brand's first campaign with Spotify, which led to a lift in brand metrics amongst listeners who were exposed to the ads, compared with listeners who weren't. These results were measured using Spotify Brand Lift—our first-party in-app survey experience used to understand the impact of advertising campaigns on Spotify—as well as a survey carried out by a third-party research partner.

Campaign results:

  • +15

    points in Recall of Heineken ads on Spotify (music ads)³

  • +6

    points increase in Message Association (music ads)⁴

  • +15

    points increase in Message Association (podcast ads)³

The Takeaway:

Spotify offers the tools and creative chops to amplify an advertiser's message through savvy placement—even if they're brand new to the audio format. The Heineken advertising campaign demonstrates how legacy companies and market newcomers alike can benefit from audio storytelling and multi-format campaigns.

Find out more about launching a campaign that reflects your brand's ethos on Spotify Ad Studio.


  1. "German beer: a drinking tradition," German National Tourist Board.
  2. Neuro-Insight Power of Audio Post SST Survey, June 2021, N=273, % people agree with the statement
  3. Spotify Brand Lift, 2022
  4. Nielsen Podcast Effectiveness, 2022

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