During the 2013 Champions League, sponsor Heineken launched a campaign that got a lot of people to take notice, and even more to start talking. The campaign, which ran with the hashtag #ShareTheSofa, used second screen interactive technology along with some of the sport’s famous faces, to get people more interested in the game, and more aware of Heineken as a sponsor. The result was a campaign that generated around 1.2 billion media impressions, spread across 94 countries, that went on to increase the purchase intent of their brand some 7%.
Share The Sofa was innovative, a new concept. It was the first ever real-time football show designed for second screen only. The basics of the campaign were this: every week Heineken ran an episode of Share The Sofa, which people could watch on their second screens, and interact with as the game went on. The show was hosted by a variety of football names, including the likes of Ruud Gullit, Ruud van Nistelrooy, Owen Hargreaves, Hernan Crespo and Fernando Morientes. During the show, the hosts commented on the game, made jokes, interacted with fans, and generally entertained, all with Heineken in the background.
What Is Second Screen?
Before you really understand the #ShareTheSofa campaign, you have to understand the concept of the ‘second screen’. Basically, second screen consists of using an additional monitor (most often a smartphone, tablet or phablet) while watching television. The concept means that viewers can use their second screen to interact with what they’re watching, listening to or playing, regardless of whether it’s a video game, movie or television show.
In the case of the Heineken #ShareTheSofa campaign the use of second screen took viewers went from a one-sided viewing experience very much cemented in the analog past, to a multi-dimensional interactive experience that is a part of the digital future.
Why It Has Us Cheering
The #ShareTheSofa campaign saw Heineken make one very intelligent connection that snowballed into a global social phenomenon centred around the Champions League. It started with this statistic:
76% of people watch the Champions League at home alone.
Now, this was an opportunity for Heineken to bring people together in a digital way around a game they all loved, at the same time as bringing their brand, and it’s connection with enjoying the game, to the forefront of people’s minds. The big way they accomplished that was through the use of real-time interactivity.
Unlike the pre-scheduled and highly organised social interactions favored by brands, Heineken’s use of real-time filming and interaction made it authentic. This wasn’t something that was being filtered, checked, double-checked and watered down. It was the real deal, totally raw and ready to go. This indicated to the viewers that Heineken was confident enough in their voice, and by association their product, that they didn’t need to filter and edit the show to excess. For Heineken to have this reputation, especially in their current standing as the beverage of the Champions League, is priceless for them as a brand, and overall as a company.
As a sponsor of the Champions League, Heineken has pulled off some impressive, even awe-inspiring campaigns that had viewers and critics alike praising their innovation and questioning just how they managed to get it done. Now that it is said and done, the #ShareTheSofa campaign looks like another one to add to their collection of campaign winners.