It looks like Heineken pushed the price envelope for advertising with the female Robot campaign. More importantly, Heineken has pushed the envelope in creativity which is absolutely essential in an area where product differentiation is not easy.
Using a female robot with that contains beer that clones itself is a sure way of getting attention.
I can honestly say that I have picked up a case of Heineken just because of the advertisement (since a ‘Heine’ is not my preferred beer).
Some research on the topic of beer ads, show that beer is a very competitive industry where successful advertising camapaigns like that conducted by Red Stripe Beer has resulted in strong brand recognition. I know about the Red Stripe Beer brand although I have yet to find it in a store. The same applies to Carlton Draught which I think would be impossible/difficult to find in the USA.
Another point to note is that beer advertisements are targeted towards a male audience which leaves an opportunity for beer brands aimed at women. Some studies indicate that women consume 25% of all beer consumed in the US.
Take a look at a small sample of creative beer ads. from around the world.
The Heineken – Robo-chick does the Robot
Carlton Draught Beer
Red Stripe Beer – Ugly People
Stella Artois – Belgian’s Stole the Viking’s Beer
Pilsner Urquell – First Czech Motorcycle
Marca Bavaria – Best of Brazil since 1877
Moosehead Light beer – Girls Tanning
Sapporo – Japan