CANNES — Heineken may not be able to take advantage of everything programmatic ad buying techniques offer – but that doesn’t mean it can’t use programmatic technology to better understand its customers.

USA region senior media director Ron Amram tells a Cannes Lions panel discussion: “We are not big users of data, we don’t have a lot of first-party data, because of the three-tier system, specifically in the US. We’ve been told very specifically to stay away from understanding some consumers, because of the age barrier – we don’t want to target below the age of 21.”

The three-tier system means alcohol producers can sell their products only to wholesale distributors who then sell to retailers, and only retailers may sell to consumers. That means Heineken has precious little data about end customers.

“But, in the new world, you can leverage programmatic and the ad stack overall, the usage of data, to be smarter about your media,” Amram says. “Programmatic is a fantastic learning engine that allows you to apply data to see what’s working and feed that back in to our creative process or target segmentation for the brands to creative better DNA, whether’s it’s improving our products or creating new ones.”

Last year, Heineken USA tapped programmatic video ad tech platform TubeMogul for campaign delivery.


This video is part of a series produced from the TubeMogul Cannes rooftop event.  Please find additional videos from the series here.