Saturday, February 04, 2006

Heineken goes to the Olympic Games

The Olympic Games are about to start in the Italian city of Turin. In the Netherlands these games are alive as we are a speed skate nation. Of course we do have some snow boarders and bobsled teams. But it is for speed skating that you will sit in front of the television. This time we do not need to stay up through the night, like last time, when the Games were held in Salt Lake City (after bribes were paid; in such a religious city).

In these Winter Games we will see two real Dutch features come back: The Holland House and Heineken. The Holland House is the meeting point for Dutch sports people, officials and visitors. It is the place where the winners are celebrated and radio and television people hold their interviews. One of the sponsors of the Holland House is, of course, Heineken.

But for this type of occasions Heineken always has unique and funny advertisements. These days they also add interactive games. So now Heineken has put up a game (sorry only in Dutch) for people to play in two to four days. The objective of the game is to reach the Holland House in Turin virtually. Of course, when you reach it, you are a candidate for a free trip to Turino and of course to the Holland House.

Players of the interactive game get assignments by and e-mail or an SMS and can earn kilometres If the assignments is not properly executed the players will have to run more kilometres and of course will arrive late. Potential players have to declare that they above 18 years of age. Once on, a sequence of pictures is shown. There have been more than 5000 pictures shot. One of them is the virtual starting point. The site harbours also the famous beer glass filling game and the Heineken shop for all kind of beer glasses and other beer apparel.

It is a funny game. In fact it keeps you out of your sleep as you want to start the next assignment. Heineken has a lot of experience with this type of games. In 2002 one of the games of Heineken was in fact a Europrix category winner. The core of this site was an interactive game featuring a simulated party which is perfectly appropriate to promote both the product beer and a fun image of the brand Heineken. The game worked with multiple, parallel, storylines and goal-driven character behaviour. This allowed a whole range of unimagined possibilities. In addition to the game, a series of extra features on how to organise a successful party were offered. This included a "party calculator" to decide on purchases and the possibility to create a Personal Party Page to post information for friends and of course later on the photographs. The site was both fun and functional. These games were both designed by Qi.


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