How we helped Desperados take beer to a new frontier
When you’re trying to understand a purchase decision, it’s not just the consumer and the product that you need to get a handle on – it’s also the moment in which the decision is made.
For Happen’s latest project with Heineken, we wanted to get to the heart of a very particular moment on consumers’ nights out: the point when “going out” becomes “going out out”.
The former might just be a few drinks down the local with your friends, but the latter is something more: letting your hair down, meeting new people, dancing ‘til dawn (or at least until closing time).
Heineken wanted to grow sales of its highly successful Desperados tequila-flavoured beer among existing consumers at this moment. To achieve this, we needed to understand how the shift from evening to night-time influences people’s drink choices.
Typically, it’s a time when people switch from beer to stronger, shorter drinks with a different flavour and image – such as spirit mixers – to move the night forward. How could Heineken innovate to convince consumers to stay with Desperados at this crucial moment?
Finding the answers meant getting as close as possible to consumers.
To do this, we employed a range of creative approaches. Impromptu conversations with drinkers out on the town in Liverpool and Bristol revealed people’s thoughts and feelings at different points on a night out. Video voxpops on the streets of New York gave us inspiration on the culture of mixology, and on the rich stories and images associated with different drinks. Finally, “Insight Hacks”, a new methodology designed to road test and refine our insights with consumers, gave us a valuable extra level of understanding to build really strong creative platforms.
What was clear from our work was that any new product needed to send the right emotional and social signals at a moment when people want to up the tempo and feel more adventurous. We also uncovered a real sense of energy and edginess around tequila and its Mexican heritage – and opportunities for the Desperados brand to tap into this in new ways.
The result is Desperados Dos, a light and dark tequila-flavoured beer, which has just launched. With a smaller size, change in flavour, higher ABV and less carbonation, Dos ticks all the functional boxes. At the same time, the idea of “light and dark” implies strength – as well as a touch of mystery – while the reference to different varieties of tequila adds a certain authenticity.
By capturing the essence of a key moment, Dos gives fans of Desperados a new option that they can stay with for longer into the night. It’s available now, and with a multimillion-pound investment behind it, we believe it’s set to be big business.