Heineken shifts agencies for Tecate


Heineken USA will no longer rely on a Mexican-based agency for all U.S. advertising on Tecate. Instead, the importer has selected Inspire, Dallas, to oversee English-language campaigns for the Mexican brand, Ad Age has learned.

14 months ago, Heineken shifted the entire U.S. account to Olabuenaga Chemistri, which long handled the brand in Mexico. The consolidation – seen as a cost-cutting move — included a limited number of English-language ads as the brand ramped up its strategy of reaching out to acculturated Hispanic drinkers.

Olabuenaga will still handle Spanish-language advertising in the U.S. But the brand was not satisfied with the English spots and tapped Inspire after a review, said Tecate VP-Marketing Felix Palau. “We realized that when a Mexican agency tries to develop English creative, it feels translated,” Palau told Ad Age. “So in all honesty, we were not comfortable with the delivery.”

Inspire will also pick up advertising for Indio, a Mexican dark lager that Heineken USA brought to the states last year in select markets. The account had been at Olabuenaga Chemistri. The brand targets urban, acculturated Latinos, or what Heineken calls “Los Indies.” As such, advertising has included Spanglish slogans, such as a billboard declaring “Ya esta here.” Media buying this year will include digital and outdoor.

Inspire’s workload for Tecate will initially be limited to local radio advertising and out-of-home, although Mr. Palau did not rule out TV ads down the road.

The first radio ad by Inspire – which will hit markets soon – keeps the brand’s long-running “con caracter” tagline but plugs Tecate and Tecate Light as “dangerously bold cervezas,” in a lighthearted, somewhat irreverent approach using suggestive word-play.

See the AdAge story here