Thursday July 12, 2012
Bond’s new drink of choice
By PATSY KAM
The new Heineken bottle chalks up a couple of firsts as it will be James Bond’s new drink of choice.
HERE’S a bit of a shocker for you. The world famous secret agent James Bond will be giving up his shaken, not stirred martini as the Bond franchise celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.
What heresy did you say?
Well, obviously the producers must have thought over it long and hard, as not only have they changed the iconic Bond preferred drink, but they’ve replaced it with a beer. Heineken, to be exact.
In the upcoming new James Bond movie Skyfall, Daniel Craig will be nursing an iconic green bottle instead.
For once, consumers were one up on the super sleuth as they tried the famous brew in its brand new packaging when the new bottle was launched yesterday.
The move has created quite a controversy. Alessandro Palazzi, bartender at Dukes bar in London, the former watering hole of Bond creator Sir Ian Fleming, would be a good gauge on the pulse of Bond fans. Although he disapproves, Palazzi said he understands the reasons for putting a mainstream, inexpensive beer into the hands of the most famous British Secret Service agent. Bond movies are expensive to make, especially as fans have come to expect bigger and better with every new instalment.
But if it were up to Palazzi and martinis were no longer an option, he would like the British spy to drink classic cocktails like a Manhattan or Old-Fashioned instead.
For a brand that just keeps on progressing, it should come as no surprise that Heineken should decide to go on a global campaign to streamline its visual identity with a more modern and stylish bottle.
The tweaks made are intelligently small, so that it will enhance the consumer’s experience while maintaining the integrity of the classic green bottle chosen by founder Gerard Heineken.
There are five distinctive features that set the new bottle apart from its predecessor: a clear transparent label, a longer neck, an embossed logo, ‘Quality’ written on the cap and a thumb groove.
By the way, Heineken doesn’t just have a beer bottle that’s green in colour; the brand also follows “green” practices.
The company adheres to a returnable and recycling bottle policy. In line with its environmentally-friendly direction, more than 1,100 pallets of Heineken bottles were crushed and 800 tonnes of cullets produced recently, which were sold to its bottle supplier at a nominal fee to use for reproducing new bottles.
The new plastic label for the Asia Pacific region is currently made in China and utilises a special kind of adhesive, but in time, the brand hopes to have it made in Thailand, hence lessening its carbon footprint. With this new label, a lower temperature is required to remove the label at 70°C as opposed to temperatures of up to 85°C to remove the paper labels. Also, only less than 1% caustic soda is used to wash off the glue as compared to 2.5% for the paper adhesive.
The plastic label is also visually more exciting as it gives a cleaner look to the bottle as there is more light penetration.
The Heineken story began in 1864 when the family entered the beer business and Gerard Adriaan Heineken bought a brewery in the heart of Amsterdam. Over the past 140 years, three generations of the Heineken family have built and expanded the brand and the company in Europe and around the world. Today, Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken is a delegate member of the Board of directors of Heineken Holding N.V.
Heineken has been in Malaysia for over 25 years and true to its tradition of pushing boundaries, has been serving up progressive music and consumer experiences to Malaysians.
While it’s been almost 10 years since the Heineken bottle has seen a change, the brand has been constantly upgrading itself to keep up with the times.
In 2005, the brand revealed an updated label featuring a new “racetrack” design on the body label, silver band and a repetition of medals on its neck label.
The Heineken Ito bottle, an avant-garde take on the Heineken aluminum bottle, was made available only at Greenspace and Green Room sessions. The international brand was the first to give consumers a draught experience in the comfort of their own home with its 5-litre draught keg, a popular crowd pleaser especially during the festive season.
Other options that same year included the Magnum 1.5-litre bottle which offered fans of the brew innovative ways to drink the quality premium beer.
In 2007, it came up with its brew Extra Cold using revolutionary coolers that chilled the beers to sub-zero temperatures. Fans could enjoy beer in Malaysia that was colder, smoother and with a more refreshing taste at 0°C to 3°C.
In terms of music, Heineken has brought in cutting edge and progressive music to the local entertainment scene through movements like “Thirst”, “Green Room” and “Green Space”, bringing in the likes of DJs Roger Sanchez, Paul Oakenfold, Steve Lawler, Godskitchen and Tiesto to our shores.
It was also responsible for bringing in riveting performances by Chicks on Speed and Gossip. Heineken’s “Thirst” is also a launch pad for local talents such as DJ Blink, DJ Fono and Joey G, who all “graduated” from the contest.
Heineken is the proud sponsor of the very successful annual Rainforest World Music Festival which attracts thousands of music lovers from all over the world.
It sponsored the UEFA Champions League and the Malaysia Independence Tennis Festival which featured Roger Federer, Pete Sampras, Rafael Nadal and Richard Gasquet in 2007.
As a brand, Heineken has garnered numerous awards including the 2010 and 2011 Putra Brand Awards, Silver for Beverage (Alcoholic), BrandLaureate Heritage Award 2011, Best Brand in Beer and 2012 Putra Brand Awards, Gold for Beverage (Alcoholic).
The art of brewing beer