Heineken Champs League Interview-Campaign Viral

These days jobs are scarce and candidates are plentiful. So how do event and sponsorship departments make sure they are picking the best talent from thousands of applications? By being extraordinarily unorthodox!


At least that’s how Heineken approached its task of choosing the best individual from the 1734 applications for a marketing internship.


Not only did the Dutch-based brewer eschew the standard questions and filter its candidates by putting them through a gruelling set of highly unusual questions and interview scenarios, but it also turned the whole recruitment procedure into a marketing campaign.


Using the established formula of ‘if you are doing something, then film it’, Heineken turned the recruitment process into a marketing campaign.



The brewer advertised the post by saying it was looking for one lucky person to become a part of its event and sponsorship department – a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to meet their footballing heroes and follow the UEFA Champion’s League Trophy on its world tour.


After filtering down the applications, Heineken held Amsterdam-based interviews which saw candidates secretly filmed (behind-the-scenes style) as they are not only asked eclectic questions, but also made to hold the interviewers hand, called upon to deal with a medical emergency and asked to help save an office employee in a fire evacuation.


All along, they were, so Heineken says, searching for someone who had the skills to admirably respond to these situations with determination and resourcefulness and to show they could think on their feet.


Then, after narrowing the best candidates down to a shortlist of three, the successful intern was announced on one of the brand’s biggest sponsorship stages of all – a major Champions League game.


Prior to kick-off between Juventus and Chelsea, Guy Luchting was holding and shaking the giant ball tarpaulin with the official ballboys when it was announced on the big screen that he was the successful candidate.


41,000 supporters witnessed his big moment.


Luchting had previously studied at Hotelschool The Hague – a leading university with a top reputation in hospitality management.


‘I really didn’t know what was happening at the job interview. First they take my hand and I think “hey, that’s friendly” and then the guy falls on the floor and next thing I am outside during a fire alarm helping somebody jump off the roof. It was insane,’ said Luchting.


‘I am glad I showed enough for Heineken to give me this awesome job within their UEFA Champion’s League sponsorship – it really is my dream job.’


Luchting began working in Heineken’s Event & Sponsorship department in the Netherlands on 12 February where, among other tasks, His job spec will include accompanying the Champion’s League Trophy as it tours the world prior to arriving at Wembley for the Final on 25 May.


‘Congratulations to Guy, he really demonstrated the qualities we value at Heineken – creativity, spontaneity and passion,’ said Cyril Charzat, Heineken’ss global brand director. ‘With The Candidate, we want to encourage young adults to get out of their comfort zone and through innovation of thought and skill they can experience success – as did Guy.’


The webfilm of the process, titled ‘The Candidate’,  was then posted on to Heineken’s own YouTube channel and seeded across the internet through traditional PR and word-of-mouth.


Indeed, Heineken has activated The Candidate globally as a curtain raiser to the knock out stages of the Champions League.




True, it can become a little tedious for an employer to ask the same standard interview questions over and over again just to hear a set of pre-rehearsed answers.


But we aren’t entirely falling for this.


We think it might be more of a slightly cynical case of ‘killing two birds with one stone’ by ‘doing something no one has thought of before’.


Need to recruit someone? Need some sponsorship activation content? Why not create a campaign out of the hiring process? Too boring? Just jazz up the interviews to make them, err, a bit more watchable (so that they might go viral).


Less consumer-sourcing, more candidate-sourcing. 


And very successfully Heineken did it too. The interview webfilm certainly went viral. It was posted on YouTube on 19 February and within one week the webfilm had racked up 1,973,265 views


Additional elements to the initiative are taking place around the world.


For example, in India Heineken is suing The Candidate formula and approach to recruit a Heineken Social Reporter. The winning candidate (who will be socially and digitally savvy, as well as creative, witty, passionate and eager) will get an opportunity to report on the Finals Weekend live from Wembley for Heineken’s Social Media channels in India.


Other Champions League activation from in recent weeks from around the world ranges from The Heineken Champions Planet located in Lagos’ Victoria Island (which has been converted to the ultimate football fantasy with the top of the range football gaming technology in premium viewing atmosphere), to the announcement that the annual UEFA Champions Festival will take place in The International Quarter (close to Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park), London on 23 to 26 May 2013.




Heineken YouTube Channel



Heineken’s The Candidate On YouTube



Heineken Website



UEFA Website




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