Heineken: Billboards as music venues

Billboards on the whole are boring. Huge slices of print advertising dappled across the city skyline, looking like the lost pages from a giant’s Sunday Magazine supplement. As a result we've seen numerous brands over the years attempting to challenge the preconceptions of what a billboard should be, all in a desperate bid to turn ever more demanding consumer heads.

However, Heineken - as part of its ‘Occasionally Perfect,’ campaign - opted for a simpler concept, running an outdoor print media campaign that played the dull, lifeless billboard card to its advantage.

The brand positioned a simple green on white text billboard; simply stating “this billboard is occasionally perfect” at two sites - one in New York and one in Chicago - with a large product shot above on a separate billboard. As billboard’s go, a fairly standard affair.

However, the site was transformed with the inclusion of a live music stage turning the billboard into the backdrop for two impromptu gigs, one featuring a live performance from TV on the Radio in NYC, and the other a short 30-minute gig from Broken Social Scene in Chicago.

It’s a clever use of the billboard, turning it from a basic push message into a marker outlining something that may happen, thereby using the site to draw in consumers for a spot of experiential marketing.

Awareness of the two live music endorsements was built strategically through Twitter and the #occasionallyperfect hashtag, driving people to the destination via social word of mouth. More events are planned over the coming months; so if an occasionally perfect billboard appears near you, it means you should anticipate something unexpected.

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