Heineken USA Unveils Halloween, Fall, Christmas Programs

Offers details on seasonal Dos Equis, Newcastle, Heineken brand promos

NEW YORK -- Heineken USA Inc. has revealed the details of its Dos Equis' "Masquerade" 2011 Halloween promotion, its Newcastle Brown Ale's "Your Beer, Your Gear" fall retail program and its Heineken "Spread Your Holiday Cheer" retail program.

Dos Equis is revealing the details of its 2011 Halloween retail program in plenty of time for grocery, convenience store and liquor retail partners to plan for big sales this October. Dos Equis Masquerade program offers consumers the opportunity to experience The Most Interesting Man in the World's Masquerade through special offers, [image-nocss] contests and content accessed via mobile devices and Facebook.

Heineken USA expects Dos Equis' Masquerade to keep consumers connected to the brand and their local retail outlets throughout the entire month of October.

"Halloween has become a favorite of adult consumers with more than 50% of those 21 to 25 years old claiming they will either throw or attend a Halloween party," said Brett Steen, trade marketing manager for Heineken USA, citing NRF's 2010 Halloween Consumer Intentions & Actions Survey.

"Halloween spending is on the rise with 2010 outpacing 2009 by more than 22%. The October holiday has also become one of the busiest traffic times among the social media set with Facebook claiming photo uploads increase by an estimated 20%. Our Masquerade program connects the popularity of Halloween with the popularity of Dos Equis, one of the fastest growing import beers in the U.S."

Beginning October 1, Dos Equis and The Most Interesting Man will engage consumers at retail through premium Halloween thematic display and POS materials. Once engaged, shoppers can check in through their mobile devices to claim instant rewards, gain access to unique content and collect clues to earn coveted points using QR technology to drive repeat purchase at retail. At the end of the promotion, The Most Interesting Man himself will award six of his most mysterious and prized masks to the six consumers who have earned the most points.

In addition, shoppers will have the opportunity to cash in on special IRC and MIR offers (where available and where legal) on the purchase of Dos Equis and relevant Halloween party essentials.

Steen added, "Last year, the brand's sales grew by nearly 20% making Dos Equis one of the fastest growing import brands. Our annual Halloween program is a key driver of that growth. This year's Masquerade program includes all of the elements consumers need to make their Halloween more interesting and provides our retail partners with a clever new way of providing added value to both their customers and their bottom line."

And with Autumn's cooler weather, consumers tastes shift to richer more full-flavored beers, Heineken said. This fall, Newcastle Brown Ale is offering beer drinkers the Your Beer, Your Gear fall retail program. Your Beer, Your Gear encourages shoppers to enjoy the lightly hopped, less-bitter taste of Newcastle Brown Ale while providing added value in-store via relevant cross-merchandising offers and online via customizable Newcastle gear.

From t-shirts and baseball caps to messenger bags and hoodies, consumers can customize a variety of Newcastle branded merchandise and receive a discount by going online and entering the UPC from their Newcastle bottle.

POS materials and channel-specific cross-merchandising offers will be available to promote the program at grocery, convenience and liquor stores nationwide. To lend further support for the program, Newcastle will run outdoor and Spot TV advertising (for the first time) during the September through December program period.

Meanwhile, Heineken, is unveiling the details of its "Spread Your Holiday Cheer" retail program, also in plenty of time for grocery, c-store and liquor retail partners to plan for big 2011 holiday sales.

The multi-channel "Spread Your Holiday Cheer" program offers consumers convenience and value and provides the mobile portal through which they can capture and share special holiday moments with family and friends. The program, that runs October through December, includes channel-specific offers and incentives (where legal) to encourage consumers to enjoy Heineken and Heineken Light while increasing retailer profitability during the year's most critical selling period.

"It is no secret that consumers spend more on entertaining during the holiday period and beer is an important part of shopper's holiday baskets," said Andrew Freeman, trade marketing manager for Heineken USA. "With the explosion of mobile technology, shoppers are increasingly motivated to leverage their mobile devices to make their shopping experiences easier and more enjoyable while adding value to their purchase. Our 2011 Holiday program has been built around mobile technology that provides shopping ease with the ability to personalize and share holiday moments while encouraging them to enjoy the refreshing taste of Heineken and Heineken Light."

Through a proprietary mobile app, accessed by scanning the JAGTAG code technology on Heineken's Holiday POS, shoppers have immediate access to images, recipes and e-card greetings they can share with friends through social media outlets. In addition, shoppers can take advantage of high value cross merchandising offers on products that have a strong cross purchase index with import beer including: fresh or hot food items; ice; soft drinks; Stolichnaya Vodka (in participating outlets). Grocery offers include a recipe from famed chef Spike with a call-to-action, for shoppers to download the Heineken Holiday app, to find more great recipes.

"Heineken Holiday sales momentum starts in November and continues to build through the end of the year resulting in as much as a 150% lift in cases on promotion during the last week of December," added Freeman, citing Nielsen. "Our 'Spread Your Holiday Cheer' program provides retailers with the tools and flexibility to drive up their higher margin Heineken sales and promote what is important in their store, while reaching consumers with added value and convenience through technology that is relevant to their lifestyle."

White Plains, N.Y.-based Heineken USA Inc. is a subsidiary of Heineken International BV. European brands imported into the United States include Heineken Lager, Heineken Light, Amstel Light, Newcastle Brown Ale and Buckler. Heineken USA is also the exclusive USA importer for the Tecate, Tecate Light, Dos Equis, Sol, Carta Blanca and Bohemia brands from Mexico.