Cannes Lions

Cannes Lions Names Heineken Marketer of the Year

Award Recognizes Ongoing 'Legends' Campaign

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Heineken will be named creative marketer of the year at next year's Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.

The brewer "lives and breathes creativity throughout its organization, and has a superb framework that allows its marketing teams the freedom to experiment while retaining the core essence of their many brands," Philip Thomas, CEO of Lions Festivals, said in a statement.

"The purpose of Heineken is to continually wow the world with our brands, people and performance," said Alexis Nasard, Heineken's president for Western Europe and global chief marketing officer, in a statement. "This award shows that we are doing just that."

The announcement cited the company's ongoing global campaign, called "Legends," which has featured sophisticated and cool leading men navigating urban environments with style and panache, such as one recent ad (above) called "The City." The lead agency on the campaign is Wieden & Kennedy, Amsterdam.

The campaign was recognized in 2013 with the Cannes Lions Creative Effectiveness Grand Prix, which recognizes creativity that has a "proven business impact."

The brewer posted 0.7% revenue growth in the third quarter. Heineken had "strong results" in the first half of the year but the third quarter was a "slight miss," according to a report by Sanford C. Bernstein. The report attributed the third-quarter performance to "poorer than expected European weather and ongoing consumer weakness in Eastern Europe" that "proved a drag on results."

In the U.S., the brewer has won attention with its all-digital "No Bollocks" campaign for Newcastle, which feature spoofs on common beer advertising techniques like over-the-top Super Bowl ads and blatant patriotic appeals.

Meanwhile, the Dos Equis brand has continued with its highly successful "Most Interesting Man in the World" campaign.

The award announcement also cited Heineken's "Global Commerce University," which is described as a "mandatory learning program run by industry professionals and academics, which all Heineken marketing executives, sales executives and general managers must attend and pass."

Heineken was also recognized for streamlining its agencies "resulting in one global lead agency for the Heineken brand" -- Wieden & Kennedy -- that "ensured consistency across global campaigns."

Last year's Cannes Lions marketer of the year was McDonald's. This year's event will be held June 21-27 in Cannes, France.

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