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    Heineken USA Using Summer Season to Heat Up Light, Mexican Beer Sales

    Heineken USA yesterday launched the first salvos of a planned barrage of summer executions designed to heighten awareness and drive sampling for several brands in its growing portfolio of the nation's leading beer importer.

    On Thursday night, Amstel Light, the leading light imported brand in the U.S., broke a new ad campaign--"One Dam Good Beer"--on ABC's popular TVĀ  show, "Lost."

    Officials at Heineken USA's White Plains, N.Y. headquarter said the company conducted 15 months of consumer research before developing the campaign, which agency the Richards Group of Dallas created. It focuses on the history, culture, and spirit of the brand's homeland, Amsterdam; but just like the company's mothership brand, Heineken, which has long had the tagline "It's all about the beer," Amstel Light's focus will remain beer-centric, said Ken Kunze, v.p. marketing for Heineken USA.

    Within the company's Mexican portfolio, Tecate, the No. 4 imported beer brand in the U.S. targeted at Spanish-speaking males, is teaming up with Univision as the title sponsor for the "Tecate Premios Deportes" Hispanic sports awards program on July 20. Dos Equis, targeted at second-generation English-speaking Hispanic American males, will serve as the promotional sponsor for ESPN2's"Offshore Adventures" series.

    But the biggest news comes from the Heineken brands flagship Heineken and Heineken Premium Light. Both will be getting a makeover. For the first time ever, the iconic green bottles will be featured on secondary packaging. A massive sampling program will also be launched for Heineken Premium Light, supported by a $40 million media spend.

    "The uspide for the brand is huge," said Kunze. While the primary focus of the execution will be on premise, Kunze said that there will be approximately 4,000 off-premise events, with the goal to reach 380,000 consumers and have them sample the two-year-old brand.

    "Ultimately, our goal is to put the beer in a million people's hands," said Kunze.

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