Heineken Ignite background

Heineken Ignite: Heineken’s first interactive beer bottle.

  • Heineken embraces the start-up culture of experimentation because it knows that invention never sleeps.
  • The brand understands that the best ‘user experiences’ tap into existing consumer behaviors and push technology into the background.
  • The intent of the Heineken Ignite project was to develop an idea that would create a memorable Heineken experience unlocking the power and possibilities of mobile innovation and technology.
  • Heineken believes that mobile innovation could offer a much more rewarding experience than just an app and embraced the challenge to think about how the product could be leveraged as an interface to the brand experience.
  • A prototype of Heineken Ignite was revealed 9 April at Milan Design Week as part of Heineken’s Lounge of the Future concept.
  • Heineken takes its promise to “open your world” even further with the Heineken Ignite project, enhancing the organic way in which the product is used based on social interaction between beer drinkers. This innovative approach lets people be a part of the party in a whole new way and opens up possibilities in social situations.

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Process Innovation

  • The hardest part of innovation isn’t having a strong idea, it’s making it happen within the increasingly faster pace that new technologies and innovations are rolled out. Heineken recognized it needed to adopt the principles of lean start-ups, and applied the ‘Spark’ process developed by Tribal DDB. It provides a complete production path which includes research, ideation, development, consumer validation and prototyping within the period of just 10 weeks.
  • A team of carefully selected specialists from within and beyond the organization, were put on a mission to create a pioneering Heineken experience for people to interact with during a nightclub occasion.
  • To meet this brief, the Global Heineken Digital team and Tribal DDB Amsterdam have built a multidisciplinary creative team partnering with Massive Music, Contagious, C10, the Global Heineken Design team and independent experts from a wide range of industries. They have adopted best practices from the tech start-up community developmental processes and working closely with the Heineken team, in just 10 weeks, they have engineered and designed a viable prototype of a truly innovative product. 

 Heineken’s first interactive beer bottle

  • A bottle is something that we all take for granted, yet Heineken leads the way to turn it into a creative item; introducing new bottle shapes, materials (PET and Aluminium) and printing techniques (UV ink etc).
  • We would like to introduce Heineken’s first smart beer bottle that can interact with other Ignite bottles, its environment and the people around it, bringing together: interaction, data and networking thinking. It enriches social experiences using the bottle and technology in a surprising way and making high tech feel fun, organic and seamless.
  • Heineken’s first interactive bottle uses micro sensors and wireless networking technology to sense the moment when a bottle is being used to say “Cheers”.  The bottle can also actively respond to the music and the output of specific audio and data cues. For example, it can detect various motion types such as cheering, drinking and sitting idle on the bar top. The motions trigger certain light effects lighting up the complete bottle, enhanced by the swirls of beer, carbon dioxide and oxygen. Next to that the bottle lights can be remotely activated, so that each bottle becomes an active light source controlled by specially developed VJ software, allowing to synchronize all bottles to the music beat.
  • The housing under the bottle gives room to a custom designed circuit board based around the open source Arduino hard- and software platform. It features 8 bright LEDs, an efficient 8-bit microprocessor, an accelerometer to detect various motion types and a wireless network transceiver to communicate with the outside world. The 3D printed housing (designed and developed by C10) is built up of two parts, allowing to re-use the unit on multiple bottles of beer.

Heineken and Innovation

  • Heineken has a passion for progressive design and innovation. We continuously ask ourselves how design, technology and innovation can play a role in creating new memorable brand experiences that will also spark social connections and conversations. 
  • The interactive beer bottle is an example of Heineken’s commitment to using pioneering technology and design to create inventive new ways to experience the product and the brand. A limited number of 200 bottles are launched for the first time at the Milan Design Fair, Salone Internazionale del Mobile 2013. 
  • Earlier in the week, from its buzzing pop-up ‘Magazzini’ at Milan Design Week, Heineken invited designers from around the world to collaborate on building the ultimate concept lounge bar. This is the second edition of its Heineken Open Design Explorations (ODE) innovation project. To be part of the 2013/14 Heineken Open Design Explorations team, designers have until May 31 to apply on www.heineken.tumblr.com, whilst people can share their lounge bar experiences by uploading instagram pictures of lounge bar experiences using the hashtag #futureloungedesign. The best will be featured on the Tumblr. 

For more information contact:

Marnie Kontovraki
+31 610 881 572

Tribal DDB
Kerrie Finch
+31 628 155 769