The challenge was an interesting one… In the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, how could Heineken enable South African fans of the UEFA Champions League to enjoy it “together” during lockdown, in the 2021 season?
Soccer is a social sport. Watching soccer, even more so. But in the age of COVID-19 and social distancing, Heineken South Africa still wanted SA fans of the UEFA Champions League to enjoy it together.
The team at Machine_ know that fans enjoy the game not only by watching it, but also by engaging in banter on Twitter in real time, as the game progresses. So, during the era of social distancing and COVID-19, Machine_ and Heineken South Africa decided to level up the “social” in social media, by creating a second screen commentary experience on Twitter that gave fans the opportunity to engage with their friends, international legends and local celebrities during UCL matches. This was “UCL Live”, created in South Africa, for South African UCL fans.
Not only could the fans banter about the game with friends on the platform, the Twitter chatbot also gave them the chance to win vouchers for Heineken, signed football merch or an interview with one of the UCL legends live.
The results were incredible – over 22-million impressions on twitter alone; over 279k engagements across seven game nights; a 253.8% upliftment in Heineken x UCL association, a 90.7% upliftment in purchase intent; a 67,6% upliftment in brand consideration and massive overall increase in positive sentiment compared to previous years.
This amazing campaign has started being recognised at awards as well. Machine_ recently won an IAB Bookmark Award in the category of “Emerging Digital Technology & Channels” for its creative concept and work on this campaign for Heineken.
Commenting on this work, Executive Creative Director Jabulani Sigege says: “The difference a good advertiser can make to a brand’s perception in the industry, especially during and post-covid is truly proof of how a sound strategy combined with creativity will lead to effective advertising and results.”