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Heineken uncaps millennials' civic mindedness via Facebook-centric improvement contest

Heineken is expanding its outreach to millennials by teaming up with fundraising site Indiegogo for a contest encouraging participants to suggest city improvement projects via a 30-second pitch video submitted to the beverage brand's Facebook page.

Heineken is deploying ads on Facebook to serve target consumers information about the contest, which runs through June 30. Residents of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Houston and Honolulu are encouraged to make a mobile video discussing their ideal city project ? which can span topics such as architecture, music and art ? before submitting it to the beer brand?s official Facebook page, where the public can vote on favorite proposals before the official judging round.

?This contest is an ideal way for both companies, Heineken and Indiegogo, to raise their presence on mobile platforms such as Facebook while gaining more followers and specific beautification advice from each city?s citizens,? said Marci Troutman, CEO of SiteMinis. ?People in each city, for the most part, would love to have a hand in projects that make their location of choice more exciting.

?Bringing people together into city planning is a great idea, especially with a contest that ends in funding a great addition.?

Fizzing up cities? potential
Heineken?s The Cities Project is a new initiative designed to bring local city improvement projects to life. Consumers are encouraged to think about their own city?s best elements ? such as the people, culture, food and landscape ? and create a proposal for a project they would like to see expanded, finalized or started, with the help of extra funding.

Individuals aged 21 and over in five select cities are eligible to participate in the contest, which is also supported by Facebook and Indiegogo.

Facebook users may spot a sponsored Heineken ad for #ShapeYourCity embedded within their news feeds. Clicking on the ad?s ?Learn More? button will bring users to the designated campaign page.

Contest rules require participants to develop a 30-second pitch video discussing their project proposal. The video must then be uploaded to Heineken?s Facebook page, where members of the public can vote on their favorite ideas.

Top-rated videos will be submitted to the final round, which will be judged by a panel of experts, including celebrated chef Marcus Samuelsson and award-winning architect Dan Brunn.

The judges will choose five winners to run a crowdfunding campaign for their ideas on Indiegogo, complete with $20,000 matched support from both Indiegogo and Heineken.

CSR and social media
Leveraging social media to promote corporate social responsibility efforts is a smart move for any brand with a significant millennial or younger fan base. Heineken?s campaign allows it to highlight its charitable motives while simultaneously giving city dwellers the chance to improve their places of residence.

Heineken has been maximizing the outreach of its social channels with increased fervor lately, a strategy that has been paying off for the alcohol marketer.

For instance, in one of the largest social sampling program rolled out last year, Heineken leveraged Facebook and Twitter to give away free beers to smartphone owners at participating restaurants and bars (see story).

Additionally, a Heineken executive at the Mobile Marketing Association?s Mobile Location Leadership Forum discussed a recent mobile-first campaign centering on the latest James Bond film that resulted in more than 14 million ad impressions gained from an Ibotta partnership and nearly one million beacon-enabled impressions (see story).

Ultimately, Heineken?s decision to leverage Facebook for the #ShapeYourCity contest will likely help the brand reach its target audience.

?Facebook is a great social media outlet for ages thirty and above and the majority of contributors to a project like this,? Ms. Troutman said. ?More brands should consider introducing contests that leverage Facebook pitch videos, along with an extension of additional social media outlets to bring communities closer together, binding them to a project they can call theirs collectively.

?Community is important to ensure each city?s growth and safety, and brings back a time where neighbors knew each other and helped build their city.?