Friday, 2 September 2011

Heineken Experience photo reportage

Last month I had the great chance to spend some beautiful days in the noisy Amsterdam. A nice experience I'll never forget. I'd took advantage and went to see something that interested me mostly because of my other passion for Advertising and other things companies do to gain their costumers. I must say that what I saw really impressed me in a gooood way and I am admiring the team who transformed a former brewery into a museum, a modern and interactive one.
I will try to introduce and guide you through this challenging place and show you the levels of interactive experience through some photos I've made during the tour.
First of all I have to mention a little about the location  which is a former brewery now a historic building listed on the European Route of Industrial Heritage on the Stadhouderskade street ( I had to put this long name here although I could never pronounce it, I am still fascinated about the Dutch language and I still find it impossible to learn:))

      The big building was built as the first Heineken brewery in 1867, serving as the company's primary brewing facility until 1988 when a more modern, larger facility was constructed on the outskirts of the city. As the next photo shows "probably the best beer in the world" has been born from the entrepreneur view and initiative of a young man named Gerard Adriaan  Heineken in 1864 who just had the courage to try it.


Heineken experience tour starts as it should with the introducing the history of Heineken through many pictures on the walls from the first years of the brand, an old pub room with a big screen where the story of Heineken it's told for those interested.
The journey continues with some important achievements gathered during the time, one of the biggest being the Legion of Honour received by Adriaan Heineken in 1938. One beautiful and very informed lady is offering afterwards some explanations about the ingredients used to make Heineken and some other secrets I can not reveal now or ever (just because I don't remember them...).


I confess that I didn't try to relax in one of this alien couple chairs which look very interesting.

Everything from vast copper vats to beer-wagon shire horses were on view and visitors could see, taste and understand a bit of the long process of beer production.
 
But the most interesting, enjoyable and cool thing I've seen there, or feel I don't know how is more appropriate in this context was the 4 D experience. I've been invited together with a group of about 20 people and put to stand and hold on some iron bars in front of a big screen. Nothing special until someone turns of the light and the ground starts shaking, you get wet, and then heated, melted and bubbled while on the screen one guy is speaking about the path took by the ingredients to become probably the best beer in the world.
 
The only thing that I didn't like it in this tour were the horses kept for people admiration in an "nice" improvised stable and I think that better choices may had been done for express the gratitude for the animals who helped the company along history to carry the beer and the brand so far in the hearts of consumers.                          
 With the 4 D experience it's made the switch from tradition to modernity. A lot of interactive games, the chance to make your own performance in a video clip and sent it to your family and friends, your personalized Heineken bottle wit your name on it, to hear live music mixed by a DJ just in front of you and I let the photos to describe you more.









After this funny interactive part comes the time to relax with a cold ice beer in your hand or for those who want to know some more about serving beer there is the Draught Challenge to try .
At the end, after two glasses of very nice beer which I found much better that the same Heineken bought anywhere else you can spend a while in the shops and maybe you won't see so clearly the prices on the labels and take something with you as a souvenir. I took some memories and photos and was enough.

It's very nice to have took this lesson of PR and branding in an very enjoyable experience around people from all around the world and I really appreciate the effort that Heineken invests now in building his brand. I admire the fact that they succeed to build an famous attraction place in Amsterdam based on so simple but also extraordinary ideas which left me thinking about the Dutch clockwork way to do things. I didn't gave any feedback there on the questionnaire online filling device but I'll do it now: WELL DONE GUYS!

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