Ad In Review ‘Heineken – Back to the Bars’

A critical review of Heineken's 'Back to the Bars' ad, examining its effectiveness and messaging.



June 12, 2024

As part of its initiative, #SocialiseResponsibly, Heineken aims to encourage responsible participation from people in the HoReCa across the globe. Crafted by the award-winning creative agency Publicis Italy, the ad shows bars brimming with people, who are socializing through elbow bumps, air hugs, and nods.

With a long history of developing ad campaigns that urge people to act sensibly, this commercial ends with the message “there is one thing better than a night out. Another night out.”

After the launch, Heineken’s social media platforms received a significant number of retweets, replies, comments, shares, reviews, and traction compared to their average interaction. However, in order to decipher the unstated feelings viewers underwent while watching an ad talk so candidly about the Coronavirus pandemic, Entropik used its proprietary Emotion AI platform – Affect Lab.

Affect Lab deployed the emotion recognition technologies of facial coding and eye tracking to figure out what caught the viewer’s attention, how engaged audiences were to the ad film, and how long did they maintain continuous attention.

Here the emotions are defined via segments where positive includes happy and surprise and the intensity of the negative emotions illustrate sadness and anger.

Insights from the emotion recognition analysis showed that the Heineken – Back to the Bars advertisement garnered an average attention level of 47.59 on a scale of 0-100. Besides, the ad saw high negative emotions and low positive emotions with variations up to 27 points.

In a Nutshell

The Emotion AI-assisted insights suggest that in a time of crisis and sensitivity, advertisements hold power to steer a conversation for or against a brand. And despite delivering compelling, relatable, and humorous storytelling, certain elements can evoke negative emotions in the viewers.

Emotion-AI platforms such as Affect Lab can lend a hand to the companies in instances like these. Testing their creatives before launch enables marketers to discover the right messaging suitable for various segments of their target market.


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