Heineken Marketing Campaign: Products as Alternative Currency

October 17, 2012 § 3 Comments

Heineken recently joined a short list of other companies who are trying a new marketing style in alternative currencies. ‘The Passport’ challenged one man to travel from Mongolia to a party in Bangkok using just bottles of heineken. It changes the way you think about a product itself and inspires. The idea was similar to ‘The Great American Bacon Barter‘ where Josh Sankey drove from New York to Los Angeles trading bacon. But it’s not just the product itself that can become the ‘alternative currency’. Social media engagement can earn ‘currency’ to purchase products. In London, Kellogg’s tapped into the power of Twitter by enabling users to pay for a Special K breakfast bar with a tweet. Across the pond, JWT Mexico launched a highly successful ‘Bid Your Sweat‘ campaign for Nike whereby consumers could trade miles that they had ran for Nike sports equipment, such as a pair of running shoes for 64km.

Consumers today are bored with the same range of novelty advertising. I groan when I see a bus go past with ‘like us on Facebook’ printed across the back – why would I do that? What do I get out of it? This new approach to product placement changes the way we engage with products. In a similar way I would ‘like’ Regina Spektor because I love the experience of her music, these companies are adding experiences to their products and brands, and offering the consumer something real!


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§ 3 Responses to Heineken Marketing Campaign: Products as Alternative Currency

  • Jct: What this demonstrates is what happened during the 1990s bank crash. 750 Local Governments paid employees with small denomination bonds anyone could pay their taxes with and 25,000 corporations issue their own Heineken Beer Bottle Bucks, while MacDonald were paying their employees with… etc. And it worked fine. But why carry the Heinekens and the Bacon around with you when a corporate token works just as well as any bank note, even better, no interest to pay.

    • Dennis Tate says:

      Well said KingofthePaupers!

      I have put a proposal in front of the political party I belong to to print up our own currency and/or use a debit/credit ledger system in areas where that might work better. In theory, a ….. party dollar could become so popular that we could end up paying off our national and provincial debts with them over the coming decades???!!!

  • luketctaylor says:

    I think it’s more about creating an experience around a product and sharing it with a maximum number of people, rather than achieving a function, such as paying taxes etc. You have an interesting point though, it’s almost like going back to a medieval bartering system of trade.

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