Heineken's 'virtual' beer mocks the metaverse—to launch a real-life beer

The launch of 'virtual' Heineken Silver took place at a briefing in Decentraland

Published On
Mar 17, 2022

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A few weeks ago we saw Miller Lite opening a metaverse bar for the Super Bowl. And today, Heineken took to the metaverse to launch a "virtual" beer—but in this case, it's all a huge ironic joke.

The beer brand invited journalists to virtual platform Decentraland for a press briefing on the launch of "Virtual Heineken Silver." At the virtual event (if the platform didn't crash your computer first), avatars gathered to see Global Head of Brand Bram Westernbrink take to the stage and explain how the beer was "brewed with millions of pixels" and made with "Binary Coded Hops" grown by NPC (non-player character) farmers. Eventually, accompanied by a random appearance from an avatar version of soccer player Thierry Henry, Westernbrink revealed it was all "an ironic joke" because of course, a virtual beer tastes of "nothing."

Also See: Miller Lite's Super Bowl commercial running only in the metaverse.

We wondered if this was an early April Fool's stunt by the brand, on but on further investigation, it seems that the metaverse launch is the precursor to the launch of an actual new beer, Heineken Silver. The low alcohol brand (4% ABV), which is brewed with sustainably farmed barley using a chilled process, will be rolling out across the U.K. and Europe over the next few weeks.

In the meantime, to build awareness, Heineken will be teasing the "virtual beer" with some social videos, seen here. The idea? To emphasize that the real-life beer will be much more exciting than the virtual one, despite all the current hype about the metaverse, NFTs and digital wearables. 


To quote Westernbrink: "It is a self-aware idea that pokes fun at us and many other brands that are jumping into the metaverse with products that are best enjoyed in the real world. For now, you can’t taste pixels and bytes. So, we want to make a joke about that and remind everyone that nothing beats the taste of a refreshing beer, including our new virtual Heineken Silver, in the real world.”

The whole campaign, including the concept, digital videos and forthcoming TV commercial, comes from Publicis Italy/Le Pub.

We do wonder if it will confuse the heck out of consumers—but maybe that's the point, because what is the metaverse if not confusing?



Mar 17, 2022
Client :
Agency :
Publicis Italy/Le Pub
Sr. Director Global Heineken® Brand :
Bram Westenbrink
Heineken® Global Communication Director :
Daniela Iebba
Heineken® Global Communications Manager :
Brogan Simpson
Heineken® Global Director Strategy & Innovation :
Floris Cobelens
Heineken® Global Digital Director :
Rob van Griensven
Heineken® Global Digital Manager :
Laurens Griep
Heineken® Global PR Lead :
Jonathan O’Lone
Heineken® Senior Global Media Manager :
Natacha Volpini
Global Chief Creative Officer Publicis WW :
Bruno Bertelli
Chief Creative Officer :
Cristiana Boccassini
Chief Creative Officer :
Mihnea Gheorghiu
Global Executive Creative Director :
Andrey Tyukavkin
Global Creative Director :
Eoin Sherry
Associate Creative Director :
Daniela De Seta
Associate Creative Director :
Alessandro Agnellini
Creative Director :
Jonay Sosa
Senior Art Director :
Maria Carillo
Innovation & Experience Director :
Francois Rousseau
Multidisciplinary Designer :
Vale Borghesi
Copywriter :
Andrey Yarinich
Global Chief Strategy Officer :
Bela Ziemann
Chief Strategy & Innovation Officer :
Charles Laporte Aust
Strategy Director :
Monica Radulescu
Senior Experience Strategisr :
Melike Akyar
Global Strategy Director :
Daniel Vargas Gomez
Global Ethnography Manager :
Mina Baginova
Global Data Strategist :
Ilko Petkov
Data Detective :
Donnchadh O'Sullivan
Chief Creation Officer :
Francesca Zazzera
Head TV Production Heineken Global :
Mariella Maiorano
Digital Producer :
Matilde Bonanni
Producer Avatars and DOOH :
Sabrina Sanfratello
Le Pub Ams GM :
Eleni Charakleia
Global Client Service Director :
Paola Natellis
Group Account Director :
Madalina Marica
Account Director :
Gonzalo Gutierrez
Account Executive :
Tinatin Prangishvili
Digital Project Manager :
Christopher Handsley
Part of Publicis Groupe :
Chief Creative Officer :
Eldin Fetahovic
Chief Production Officer :
Fikret Fetahovic
Chief Commercial Officer :
Alexander Veltman
Executive Creative Director :
Rico de Lange
Creative Director :
Tanya Ponomareva
Senior Art-Director :
Victor Farias
Senior Creative Copywriter :
Anirudh Shiva
Account Director :
Charlotte Grotenhuis
Senior Project Lead :
Manja Schuurhof
Strategy Director :
Madzy Beynen
Digital Project Manager :
Vic Krens
Senior Digital Producer :
Wencke van Lankveld
Post Production Supervisor :
Paulo Pennings
Post Production Lead :
Lina Joukhadar
Dynamic Template :
Rocco Tozzi
Dynamic Template :
Gerard Milling
Sr. Editor :
Shebanjah Klaasen
Media :
Dentsu RedSta
Client Director :
Kate Hinz
Global Strategy Partner :
Simon Bielby
Strategic Digital Director :
Ricardo Lopes
PR :
Director :
Ethan Tuxford
Account Director :
Amy Easton
Senior Account Manager :
Harry Zelenka-Martin
Senior Account Executive :
Sebastien-Nicolas Chiffrin
Assistant Account Executive :
Patrick Quirk
Production Company :
Practice Lead, Innovation & XD :
Dave Meeker
VP Innovation Experience, Innovation & Emerging Technologies :
Zach DeBord
Director dentsu Gaming :
Tommy Huthansel
Innovation Director, Innovation & Emerging Technologies :
Darius Kirschner
Lead Interactive Developer :
Jaye Moore
ACD Experience Design :
Leah Wilson-Moore
Design Director Visual Design :
Andy Tanguay
Senior CG Artist, Innovation & Emerging Technologies :
Todd Daniele
Senior CG Artist, Innovation & Emerging Technologies :
Blaire Totzke
Lead Concept Artist :
James Mackin
SVP Global Music Production :
Jerry Krenach
Senior Music Producer :
Stephen Stallings
President Isobar North America :
Andrew Kasprzycki
SVP Client Leadership :
Eric Forsyth
Director Client Leadership :
Jennifer Raeber
SVP Integrated Production :
Carissa Ranelycke
Executive Producer :
Maya Tank
Sr. Producer :
Colby Black
Production Company :
Creative Director/ Director :
Simon Wood
Creative Director/ Director :
William Bartlett
Real-time Director :
Karl Woolley
Producer :
Alexia Paterson
Real-time Producer :
James Yeo
Music :
Massive Music Amsterdam
Music :
Lean Back
Sound Studio :
Grand Central Recording Studios
Sound Engineer :
Raja Sehgal
Art Buyer :
Caterina Collesano
Photographer/studio 3dArtist :
Platinum Design
Production Company :
SferaProduction Agency
Influencer :
Billion Dollar Boy
Founder & Group CEO :
Ed East
Founder & CEO :
Thomas Walters
Senior Account Director :
Sami Westwood
Creative Director :
Alex Williamson
Creative :
Henry Crisp
Strategist :
Natasha Jones
Account Director :
Abi Lepp
Senior Account Manager :
Antonia Aveline
Account Executive :
Archie Leigh
Business Director :
Pete Harris
Project Director :
Hannah Courtney
Project Manager :
Ruth Newman
Production Manager :
Roser Ramirez
Senior Creative Strategist :
Louise Millar
Strategy Director :
Maria Kivimaa
Creative Director :
Vicky Baker
Creative Director :
Ben Peckett
Senior Creative :
Beth Anderton-Allen
Senior Creative :
Aaron Taylor
3D Designer :
Mateusz Czeczko
3D Designer :
David Carpenter
2D Designer :
Jake Townsend
Business Director :
Pete Harris
Project Director :
Kate Miller
Senior Creative Strategist :
Rosie Copland-Mann
Production Manager :
Biddy Compton
Project Coordinator :
Rosie Evans
Creative Director :
Nate Thompson
Creative :
Ali Munro
Creative :
Jimmy Nicholls
2D Designer :
Jake Townsend
3D Designer :
Mateusz Czeczko
Account Director :
Jonnet Berg
Strategy Director :
Jeroen Huisman
Creative Director :
Diederik van Kollem
Sr Creative :
Jade Jacobs
Sr Copywriter :
Roos van Dam
Production Company :
Hobby Film
Director :
The Perlorian Brothers
Fredrik Backar
Executive Producer :
John Gerard
Production Services :
Producer 24/7 :
Nayla Soffita
Post Production Company :
The Mill
Producer :
Thomas Cole
Sound Studio :
Grand Central Recording Studios
Sound Engineer :
Raja Sehgal
Editors TVCs :
Ben Canny
Editors TVCs :
Enrico Munarini
Editor Digital :
Claudio Roveda
Art Buyer :
Caterina Collesano
Photographer :
Tom Sloan

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