Desperados Sensory Illusions Campaign Set To Conjure Up On Trade Sales

24th June 2013

HEINEKEN, the UK’s leading Cider and Beer business has unveiled a dynamic summer long campaign for its cutting-edge premium packaged lager brand Desperados. Designed to put the original tequila-flavoured lager front-of-mind for consumers, the campaign will drive trial and visibility in the on-trade via memorable sampling activity featuring a talented illusionist.

As one of the fastest growing brands in the Premium Packaged Lager segment, Desperados saw value sales increase by 58% last year[1] and is now worth over £53.4m[2]. Running from July until October, the activity will be supported by a significant investment in new POS, including innovative social media toolkits.

A unique brand expericence

Highlighting the distinctive flavour combination of Desperados and engaging drinkers in outlet, the new campaign will see the brand team up with magician Gerry Sims, an up-and-coming street illusionist with an urban edge. The illusionist has worked with Desperados to create a range of magic tricks which showcase the unique facets of the brand. Gerry will train a network of illusionists and magicians, who will visit 900 pubs and bars across the country to perform the tricks and deliver a unique brand experience.

Magically filling cups without any liquid and making cards appear inside Desperados bottles, the illusionists will encourage consumers to sample the product while watching the tricks, fostering participation and interaction, whilst creating theatre in outlet. This partnership follows the brand’s previous link ups with graffiti artists and break-dancers and has been created designed to highlight Desperados’ contemporary character among 18 – 25 year old drinkers.

Iconic visibility

Supporting the sampling activity, Desperados has also invested heavily in a range of new premium POS that will continue to drive the brand’s urban associations. The latest items have an industrial theme and include hanging fridges and traffic lights, as well as traditional bar runners, drip mats, t-shirts and posters.

Tapping into the popularity of social media among its the target audience, the brand will also offering licensees social media toolkits to promote sampling events and drive footfall. The kits will include short video clips to post onto the individual outlet’s own social networking sites and trail events to customers.

As well as having a summer festivals presence, Desperados will also launch an above-the-line advertising campaign, including 6, 48 and 96 sheet posters in areas with a close proximity to key bars and with a high student footfall, to drive maximum awareness.

Driving sales through targeted activation

Andrew Turner, Category and Trade Marketing Director On-Trade HEINEKEN, comments, “Despite the rise in popularity of Desperados in recent years, our research shows us that consumers often have a barrier to the concept of tequila until they actually taste it. However once they have tried the product we see a fantastic rate of sale; therefore our mission is to engage consumers and highlight the unique taste profile of Desperados. Our latest sampling activity offers a unique, premium brand experience and we are confident this will capture the attention of existing fans, whilst recruiting new drinkers to the brand.

“Like past campaigns, the latest activity will be focused on London as a key region, enabling us to drive distribution, awareness and credibility in the capital. However in addition, we will be driving awareness across the country with a range of new initiatives and POS. With the activity set to increase brand awareness throughout the country and Desperados growing by 58%[3], we strongly advise licensees to stock up take advantage of the opportunity and drive sales and profits this summer.”

A unique taste experience

Desperados is a distinctive combination of beer and tequila flavour. Offering a unique taste experience that’s different from other beers, Desperados is perfect for consumers looking for new flavour experiences for high-energy occasions. The brand is now one of the UK’s Top Six selling Premium Packaged Lager brands in terms of value and volume, delivering over £5.8m in value sales during the last quarter[4].



[1] CGA On-Trade 2012 to 01/12/2012

[2]MAT value CGA On Trade 23rd Feb

[3] CGA On-Trade 2012 to 01/12/2012

[4] CGA On-Trade to 23rd February 2013