Influencer Q&A with Heineken: how #SparkMyParty delighted holiday partygoers

Tuesday, 23 December 2014

Earlier this month, @Heineken_US launched a Twitter contest in New York to show how its lager can make holiday gatherings more festive. The brand invited users who were planning to host parties on Dec. 5 or 6 to Tweet with the hashtag #SparkMyParty for a chance to win a Heineken gift box and select “plus-ups,” such as a DJ, a celebrity photographer, Uber gift cards and 100 helium balloons.

Manhattan Twitter users were eager for the prizes. More than a thousand people entered the contest, and over the course of the weekend, the campaign generated 1.6M impressions and a 10.2% engagement rate. Twelve users were chosen to win.

What made the contest so successful? We chatted with Heineken brand director Priscilla Dohnert (@CillaDohnert) and digital media manager Betsy Paynter (@bpay) to find out.

@TwitterAds: You have a long history of launching innovative Twitter campaigns, from #ShareTheSofa to @wherenext. Tell us more about #SparkMyParty. What inspired it?

@CillaDohnert: We know that the holidays are a really important time for people to reconnect with family and friends. They’re also a busy time. According to our research, people go to an average of 12 to 18 parties from Thanksgiving to New Year’s Eve, including game nights, ugly sweater parties and holiday work parties. We wanted to add value by coming in and taking some of these parties to the next level, and get people excited about Heineken for the holidays.

@TwitterAds: Why did you choose to partner with Twitter?

@bpay: We’ve been working with Twitter for several years now, and we know it’s the best place for real-time communication with our consumers. Going with Twitter for this particular campaign was a no-brainer.

@TwitterAds: Walk us through the process of executing this campaign.

@CillaDohnert: After coming up with the initial idea — that we wanted to go spark people’s parties — we had to figure out how to make it come to life in real time.

On the nights of Dec. 5 and 6, we had a war room with all key stakeholders present, from our Twitter team to our agencies. @WiedenKennedy handled community management. They sent out the call-to-action Tweets and corresponded with people who entered the contest to make sure they were of legal drinking age and were actually going to have a party in Manhattan.

The @EdelmanPR and United Entertainment Group teams collaborated to make sure our Heineken delivery van was filled with the prize boxes and that special guests like the DJ and celebrity photographer were available to successfully spark the parties. @MediaVestUSA and @SocialCodeInc helped with real-time promotion and whitelisting certain Tweets.

Throughout the process, our Twitter team used their tools to show us how many people were talking about our brand, using our hashtag and entering the contest.

@TwitterAds: What were the results?

@bpay: We didn’t know how many people would want Heineken to show up at their homes at 6 p.m. on a Friday night, but the response blew us away. The campaign really incentivized users to engage with us.

@CillaDohnert: And the campaign isn’t over. After the contest in New York, we invited Twitter users across the country to enter, and mailed ten #SparkMyParty gift boxes to the winners. We’re also in the process of partnering with @UrbanDaddy to spark parties in eight more cities. The end result will be more than 240 sparked occasions throughout the holiday season.

@TwitterAds: What’s next for Heineken on Twitter in 2015?

@bpay: Heineken sees Twitter as a platform that allows us to get closer to our target audience: men of the world who are open to new experiences. We’re looking forward to trying Twitter’s new targeting capabilities, including TV targeting, to reach them. We’ll also be working with our Twitter team to test how well Twitter drives purchases.

@TwitterAds: Any words of wisdom for other brands on Twitter?

@bpay: Think about what consumers want, and don’t just push out messaging. This space requires a conversation. #SparkMyParty is a perfect example of why it’s great to be able to converse with users one-on-one.