In the same way that Corona has become the beer of the beach, Heineken wants to become the beer of the city. One of the ways they are positioning themselves to do so is by championing projects and initiatives that enrich the city-dwelling experience. They started with the Subway Symphony project, an idea from musician James Murphy to brighten the tones made by the New York City subway turnstyles. Transforming the turnstyles into a kind of musical instrument could radically change the commuting experience.
Inspired by Subway Symphony, The Daily Dot partnered with Heineken for City Kickstarts, a series profiling visionary projects funded through Kickstarter that are striving to enrich the lives of their city's citizens. We featured 6 projects across the country, from a floating pool in NYC's East River that would help clean up the water to a user-controlled light installation underneath Chicago's elevated subway.
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For a campaign that celebrated the city, its branding had to reflect the scale of urban environments. Buildings tower overhead. There are innumerable things to do and see. Even the sheer number of people can make you feel small. But that scale should not dishearten or intimidate. Rather, it should inspire. It should drive people to be better, to build higher, and to achieve more. It is that kind of desire for greatness that I wanted to capture.
City life is fast-paced, complex, and occasionally difficult. The projects we profiled aim to enrich the lives of citizens, providing a new service or showing them a side of city life that they had not seen before. I wanted the branding to be bold and sophisticated, yet simple. It had to be familiar, communicating that these projects were all improving upon something already established within the city.
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We promoted the series by running co-branded banner ads on The Daily Dot. I wanted the banner ads to be visually rich so they would immediately stand out. More importantly, I wanted to capture the underlying theme that the series wasn't about the projects themselves, but rather the individuals behind them. What drives them? What inspired them to embark on such unique projects?
We sent a photographer/videographer to document the interviews, so we had a plethora of original media to draw from. I separated these images into three categories: people, process, and execution. Based on the dimensions of the ad, I chose visuals that, together, had an interesting narrative to them, prioritizing images of people over images of things whenever I could.
Overall, the campaign was an incredible success. We racked up almost 600,000 article views for the series with an average time on site of over 4 minutes per article, well beyond our benchmarks. Some of the articles were even shared on social media by our competitors. The banner ads were seen nearly 33 million times with a click-through rate of .27%, far above the industry average.