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Smart Beer from Heineken

May 6, 2013 at 12:46 by Bridget Comments

I love this prototype from Tribal DDB Amsterdam for Heineken.  By hooking up some clever creative tech to literally bring the bottle to life, they made the drinking experience ‘more of an experience’.

I like the fact that creative technology is really at the centre of the product experience and not just something extra on top.  Heineken Ignite turns the bottle into an interface for a more socially connected drinking experience between people and the club.  The bottle literally lights up when people clink any two together for a “cheers”.  It sparks when they take a sip, and goes to sleep when left untouched.

The bottles also react to music in the club.  The lights can be remotely activated and controlled by specially developed VJ software resulting in the bottles pulsing to the music beat.

The first prototype (to the left) although a little clunky and still separate from the bottle itself served as a proof of concept.

The next challenge was to minimize the hardware. Everything needed to fit underneath a bottle of Heineken.

With a custom designed board the tech team managed get everything to work in something that was just a little bigger than a 2 Euro coin.


The project went from first brief to prototype in just 10 weeks.  I think we’ll see more and more agencies adopt this kind of startup mentality and rapid prototyping.  It will require agencies to partner clients in a much more collaborative process that goes beyond messaging, delving into product design.


So is product design the new advertising? Obviously it won’t replace advertising but there is a growing trend for agencies to develop new products, services or protypes instead of campaigns. Looking back to last year’s Cannes Lions the most celebrated win was Nike Fuel taking home the Titanium Grand Prix (and countless other lions and Grand Prix).  Now although there was an incredibly good and very complete integrated campaign to launch Nike Fuel you can’t dissociate the genius of the idea of the product itself from the communication around it. We also celebrated the VIP fridge magnet for Red Tomato Pizza which no doubt inspired evian to create their fridge magnet called the smart drop.  And finally, American Express launched a new service with Twitter.

I’ll be interested to see what comes out of the innovation category this year at Cannes.

Agency : Tribal DDB Amsterdam


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