Heineken lets Torontonians safely meet over a pint and a haircut

As part of its "socialize responsibly" message, the brand answers two high-demand consumer needs at once.

Heineken-haircuts

Heineken is teaming up with a downtown Toronto bar and barbershop to help people finally take care of their pandemic hair.

In partnership with RendezViews – which has one of Toronto’s largest outdoor patios – and the Glassbox Barbershop, Heineken is offering complimentary haircuts until July 22, along with pints of of its lager or non-alcoholic Heineken 0.0.

Sasha Romano Lopez, senior marketing manager for Heineken at Molson Coors, says that throughout the pandemic, the brand has encouraged people to “socialize responsibly,” through a global campaign that promoted digital hangouts, buying drinks from bars to enjoy later or socially-distanced meet-ups.

She tells strategy that as Canada moves through phases of reopening, an experience like this is the perfect time to lean on the ways we can safely see people again, whether it’s over a fresh pint or fresh hair, as consumers are comfortable with patios and wanting to desperately to get their hair cut after 18 months of “letting the flow go.”

HNK_FreshLooks_PR_After_Emerson“[It] gives people an opportunity to tap into something they’ve been missing most during lockdowns, a pint on a patio, and a haircut,” Romano Lopez maintains.

On the Heineken Fresh Looks site, it says that all appointments have been booked due to an “overwhelming response.”

She adds that the key to the initiative was timeliness and to give consumers an awesome experience just as “phase two” was opening up in Ontario. The brand turned it around with its teams in about six weeks end-to-end.

Romano Lopez says it was a time sensitive idea launched when consumer need was at its highest, and that it first had designs on activating in Montreal, but re-openings moved so fast that it reconsidered, and “focused on nailing the timing within Ontario” and finding the best partners for the experience.

The audience, she says, is legal drinking age and above, particularly a 25- to 35-year old consumer, but at the end of the day, it’s not exclusive of anyone.

The “thirsty for haircut?” messaging has been largely organic, whether through news outlets, online, print, digital and the brand will push announcements through its Heineken Canada social pages.

SDI did the experiential components, Citizen handled PR, WaveMaker the media buy, while Publicis, which won the brand’s business for Canada in June of last year, took care of social and community management.

This is not the first time the brand has turned to haircuts to create a buzz. In 2019, Heineken launched popup barbershops in Toronto and Montreal, targeting young males, in order to promote its alcohol-free lager.