Campaign SpotlightPress Release

Heineken captures that perfect first sip and showcases commitment to the perfect serve in new spot

AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS — There are few sensations in life that you can always rely on to provide gratification. The cold side of the pillow. The sun on your face. The first sip of a cold beer. That’s why Heineken® launches its global integrated campaign “The First Ahhh!” – capturing the iconic and refreshing “first sip” feeling you get from a crisp, uniquely balanced Heineken®.

In the fast-paced of today, the brewer recognizes that feeling of refreshment is more important than ever – and it is something Heineken® has delivered to the world with its unique recipe for more than 150 years.

The campaign highlights the “first sip” feeling you get from its perfectly balanced taste. Meanwhile, the wider global campaign showcases Heineken®’s five core brewing principles to consumers, which are the secret behind the beer’s reliable high-quality, perfectly balanced taste – no matter where you are in the world.


In typical Heineken® fashion, to show how much it cares about its perfectly balanced taste, the brand has been sending out its Master Brewer, Willem van Waesberghe, to measure the surfaces of bars and tables with “The Beer Level” – a “highly scientific” tool filled with Heineken® beer designed to guarantee the perfect pint presentation.

Nabil Nasser, Global Head for Heineken® Brand, said, “As a brand rooted in more than 150 years of brewing heritage, our perfectly balanced, refreshing taste has become known across the world as a great beer to have with friends. ‘The First Ahhh!’ embodies that feeling at the end of the day when you can grab a beer with a group of friends. We also want to bring some fun to our credentials by creating a Giant Spirit (or Beer) Level, highlighting our dedication to the craft in true Heineken® wit and style. We’re excited to bottle up that unique First Ahhh!’ feeling and share it with the world.”

The “First Ahhh!” campaign launches today with a global TVC directed by Alex Feil and soundtracked by a cover of the late great Nat King Cole’s “L.O.V.E.,” echoing the L.O.V.E. Heineken® puts into its beer. The TVC dramatizes the moment you desire the taste of a refreshing Heineken® but it is just out of reach – whether after a long day at work or arriving late to a party.

The viewer is taken on a journey of anticipation for the first sip, until at the crescendo of the track, the protagonist finally experiences the “First Ahhh!” moment.

Bruno Bertelli, Global CEO of LePub and CCO of Publicis Worldwide, said, “The first sip of beer is a unique experience: the pleasure, the smell, the feeling of frothiness – everything contributes to a perception of taste and enjoyment. The campaign portrays this sense of expectation and how these elements can play a role in the way we perceive taste and excitement. Creativity spins over the idea of craving, anticipation, desire, and pleasure that is usually linked to the very first sip. We wanted to show how Heineken’s taste refreshes moments of effort into moments of enjoyment turning people’s ‘agh into moments of ‘ahhh!’”

With 25 million serves of Heineken® across 192 countries every single day*, there is an art to maintaining this consistency. Ever wondered what makes the perfect serve? Look out for the following six signs:

  1. The glass should be held at the base – this keeps the beer as cool and crisp as possible.
  2. The tap should be opened in one firm motion – your server needs to be confident – if opened slowly, they risk squeezing squeeze the line, resulting in excess foam falling into the glass before the tap is fully opened.
  3. The glass should be tilted precisely at a 45-degree angle with the beer pouring down the inside of the glass – this creates that mesmerising whirlpool effect that whips up the foam underneath. Remember – the nozzle should never touch the beer, as this breaks the surface tension which impacts the crisp, refreshing taste.
  4. The head of foam should be solid and perfectly balanced on the arms of the iconic Red Star, all the way to the rim of the glass – in scientific terms, the perfect pint should consist of 95% beer, 5% foam, as this best brings out the beer’s aroma, whilst preventing oxidation and your beer going flat.
  5. Your server should start skimming the moment the beer overflows, using a wet skimmer at a 45-degree angle – this removes excess foam and creates an unbroken seal. Skimming removes large bubbles on top of the foam which protects it from oxygen and maintains the head for longer.
  6. Wherever you enjoy a Heineken®, the ‘first sip’ feeling is best enjoyed in a glass – no matter where you are in the world, pour your Heineken® from the bottle and into a larger glass to unlock the full flavor experience.

Willem van Waesberghe, Master Brewer at Heineken®, said, “It’s easy to take for granted the refreshment and uniquely balanced taste a Heineken® always provides – whether Original, Silver or 0.0 – as it is so consistent wherever in the world you enjoy it. However, there is a true science behind the sip, driven by our Five-Star Brewing Principles, including Heineken®’s famous A-yeast, quality Pure Malt, 100% natural ingredients, a horizontal brewing method, and our verified Star Brewers, a title that takes 10 years to attain – that provide you with the ‘first ahhh!’ feeling.”

The “First Ahhh!” campaign launches today with a 63-second TVC across 75 markets. This comes as part of a global integrated credentials campaign running throughout the year, consisting of key visuals, BTL, OOH, packaging updates, PR and social campaigns.

To learn about the Heineken®’s five core brewing principals and heritage, visit the home of Heineken® in Amsterdam at the Heineken® Experience.

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