Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Counting the days ’til Christmas day? Check out this brand’s take on the “12 Days of Christmas!” [Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

December 11, 2020

Christmas is just around the corner!

Chances are you’ve started to hear Christmas songs being played everywhere like…

“The Little Drummer Boy”

“All I Want for Christmas is you”

“12 Days of Christmas”

Speaking of 12 Days of Christmas, one brand recreated the song together with a GIANT Christmas tree in Singapore in 2011.

That brand is…


—a pale lager beer brand produced by Dutch brewing company Heineken International. It is sold in green bottle with red star on its print.

A perfect match to the usual Christmas colors!

As its way of spreading the holiday cheers to Singaporeans, Heineken, in partnership with advertising agency IRIS WORLDWIDE Singapore, created…

The Social Christmas Tree!

Conceptualized by local designer Edwin Cheong, the digital Christmas tree consisted of 48 interconnected LCD screens and measured 36 feet high and 13 feet wide.

Heineken had three objectives for creating this holiday-themed campaign:

  • To create a positive impact on Heineken’s brand imagery scores (a target of at least 1% increase from last year’s scores)
  • To create buzz and awareness around the brand’s festive message
  • To increase incremental sales by 15%

The Social Christmas Tree was displayed at the Central Fountain in Clarke Quay from December 17 to 26, 2011. Its various interactive activities were designed to combine the “joys of digital” and bring them to people enjoying one of Singapore’s most vibrant nightlife spots.

What were the surprising activities in store?

  • Personalized Facebook Festive Greetings
  • Festive Rhythms
  • Human Tree Ornaments
  • Visual Interludes
  • Virtual Tree Choir – the key highlight of Heineken’s Social Christmas Tree

Let’s get into each one in detail!

Personalized Facebook Festive Greetings

For those who wanted to add a twist and a bit more creativity to the Christmas cards they give their loved ones, Heineken developed the perfect solution.

Through the Facebook Festive Greetings, online users could choose up to 16 of their Facebook friends and send them a customized e-card Christmas greeting. Senders could create as many cards as they want for their families and friends.

Once senders were done designing the cards on their own and submitting it to Heineken’s Facebook page, a notification was sent to all the recipients so they could view the cards online.

The best cards were displayed on the Social Christmas Tree for passersby to see and were also uploaded on Heineken’s Facebook page.

Festive Rhythms

The Festive Rhythms featured different Christmas party sounds and songs the campaign team collected and remixed to produce cheerful melodies.

The rhythms’ catchy beats and mish-mash of celebratory sounds put people in a partying mood even more, right at the center of Clarke Quay!

Human Tree Ornaments

This activity encouraged people to join the festive celebrations the Heineken way!

Heineken set up a photo booth next to the Social Christmas Tree, where people could have their photos taken. If they so desired, people could also have the brand’s campaign team playfully edit the portraits into cheery Christmas ornaments.

These photos were then displayed on the LCD screens as part of the tree’s decor.

Owners could keep a copy of it by sharing the photo with their friends via Facebook, letting them know that friends could also “grow on trees”!

Heineken prepared three visual interludes played on the Social Christmas Tree, each with unique designs and storylines flowing in sync with a soundtrack, to dazzle viewers as they soak in the distinctive Heineken ambiance during the festive season.

Viewers saw kaleidoscopic displays that represented the “diverse and colorful” experiences brought about by their social relationships.

There were also visual displays of the four seasons, which signified new beginnings and social connections for everyone.

Virtual Tree Choir

Get into the holiday mood with Heineken’s Tree Choir!

Comprising 20 international carolers from around the world, the choir gathered virtually to harmonize “12 Days of Christmas,” creating a more upbeat and humorous version of the song based on Heineken’s perspective.

The beer brand’s take on “12 Days of Christmas” centers on twelve things one should bring to a Christmas party.

The version was played on all 48 LCD screens of the Social Christmas Tree and it had people at Clarke Quay humming along during the night it was played!

How effective was Heineken’s Social Christmas Tree campaign?

By the end of the campaign, Heineken analyzed the Social Christmas Tree’s impact and found that its objectives were met―and were even exceeded as shown by the results!

The results were:

  • An increase on Heineken’s brand imagery scores by 8.2%
  • A Facebook app engagement rate of 15.7%, with an additional 108,534 unique visitors on Heineken’s official Facebook page
  • Heineken’s 2011 PR value exceeded its 2010 rate by 29%
  • Incremental sales increased by 53%

Aside from that, Heineken’s Social Christmas Tree won the Best Use of Screens Award from Spikes Asia in 2011!

According to Rene de Monchy, Head of Marketing at Asia Pacific Breweries Singapore, the company that handles Heineken’s Asia Pacific Office:

“We wanted to take this holiday season to do what Heineken does best―bringing people together in traditional ways, but adding a twist of Heineken distinctiveness and digital innovation. The Social Christmas Tree introduces a Virtual Choir and Facebook Festive Greetings, enabling unique experiences for people to come together from all over the world and share the holiday cheer.”

Use the power of social media to your brand’s advantage and be inspired by how Heineken used it to connect people from different parts of the world!

Who knows? Your own out of the box digital campaign could also be your gateway to increase sales and brand awareness, and create buzz among your target market!

About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
“Fridays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

Guerrilla Marketing is inexpensive.

The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

Every Friday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

Stay tuned for next Friday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla!


Kyle Yu
Head of Marketing
Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities
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