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Spirit of Heineken


Agency: VBAT
Design Director (VBAT): Peter Eisen
Brand Director (VBAT): Elseline Ploem
Designers (VBAT): Niels Grimbergen, Robert Versloot
Account (VBAT): Juliette Tiggelman
Global Masterbrewer (Heineken): Willem van Waesberghe
Senior Brand Design Manager (Heineken): Caroline van Hoff
Global Director Heineken Design, Activation & Sustainability: Mark van Iterson
Founder (Clusius Craft Distillers): Joris Putman
Location: Netherlands
Project Type: Limited Edition
Client: Heineken International and Clusius Craft Distillers
Packaging Contents: Beer
Packaging Substrate / Materials: Glass Bottle
Printing Process: Offset

For the 2019 Christmas and New Year season, Heineken asked us to design a very special gift for very special relations in the company, the Heineken family and the Executive Board. The concept revolved around a sort of vodka Heineken created out of the leftover alcohol from their Heineken 0.0. It’s a fantastic spirit that retains the aroma and flavor of Heineken beer. To create a true keepsake we bottled this spirit in the iconic WOBO (World Bottle) invented by Freddy Heineken himself in the 1960s – a bottle designed to be upcycled as a brick to build houses. In that spirit, we upcycled it into limited-edition gift called the ‘Spirit of Heineken’, which is precisely what it is: a flavorful 40% spirit made with the same progressive mindset that has made Heineken a global icon.

BACKGROUND
For the 2019 Christmas and New Year period, we designed a very special gift for special relations at the Heineken company, in the Heineken family and on Heineken’s Executive Board. The concept revolved around a sort of vodka Heineken created out of the leftover alcohol from brewing their Heineken 0.0. It’s a fantastic spirit that retains the aroma and flavor of Heineken beer. For this true keepsake, we created a limited series of 1,000 bottles, numbered them and used exclusively as gifts.



CREATIVE IDEA - ONE TIME ONLY
Heineken 0.0 is a global success. But what to do with the leftover alcohol created during the 0.0 brewing process? Heineken turned this alcohol into a unique sort of vodka that tastes fantastic. It’s the ‘Spirit of Heineken’, a bit like vodka yet retains the signature Heineken flavour thanks to its A-yeast. For a few good friends, we decided to bottle the spirit for one time only. We used the iconic WOBO (World Bottles), originally designed by Freddy Heineken in the 1960s to be upcycled as bricks. In that spirit, we upcycled the WOBO into a unique gift. Cheers to a great 2020. Here’s to the ‘Spirit of Heineken’!

EXECUTION
We transformed the original cradle to cradle WOBO into a unique 50cl spirits bottle and dressed it up with a minimalist label. We also created a wrapper to protect the bottle, enhance the unboxing experience and explain Heineken’s unique brewing process. We literally put the bottle on a pedestal. Executed in green and blue in a way that balances Heineken’s signature colors: green for the brand and 0.0 blue.

RESULTS
‘Spirit of Heineken’ is not for sale, so there are no commercial results available. It did however contribute to super positive image building amongst the most spoiled target group imaginable – CEOs, presidents and celebrities. It’s hard to please people who already have everything, but our unique gift really got them excited while also underlining the iconic fresh values of the Heineken brand and company. Only Heineken could create a gift like this.

LEARNINGS
We stepped into a whole new category using existing Heineken assets. For us it underscored once again the creative power of having an iconic and ownable brand asset to work with.


What's Unique?
We transformed the original cradle to cradle WOBO into a unique 50cl spirits bottle and dressed it up with a minimalist label. We also created a wrapper to protect the bottle, enhance the unboxing experience and explain Heineken’s unique brewing process. We literally put the bottle on a pedestal. Executed in green and blue in a way that balances Heineken’s signature colors: green for the brand and 0.0 blue. ‘Spirit of Heineken’ is not for sale, so there are no commercial results available. It did however contribute to super positive image building amongst the most spoiled target group imaginable – CEOs, presidents and celebrities. It’s hard to please people who already have everything, but our unique gift really got them excited while also underlining the iconic fresh values of the Heineken brand and company. Only Heineken could create a gift like this.








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