Tumi Heineken

Social media marketing played a strong role in determining product placement order in the Tumi Holdings Inc. collaboration with international brewer Heineken, which is now heading to the homestretch.

The #Heineken100 initiative provides co-branded products to 100 of the world’s influential men. A tote bag was given out in August, followed by a backpack duffel in September and a carry-on roller this month. All are in black, made from a high tensile poly weave, and feature a green stripe to represent Heineken.

According to Coltrane Curtis, founder of creative marketing agency Team Epiphany, which worked on the program, there will also be a value-added component featuring a special Tumi PAX jacket that converts into a neck pillow in December.

Curtis also said the product line was intentionally introduced in the series that was used to provide the greatest marketing impact on social media. “The products are hitting where the void is in the consumer’s life. The tote bag is a nice thing to have, but you may have one. The backpack for me was always the second piece. The crème de la crème – and the most expensive item – is the roller bag. Everybody thinks that’s the end, and then comes the surprise-with-delight [Tumi Pax] jacket,” Curtis said.

Curtis monitors the influencers to see how they tout the brand through everyday use. “When I first started this, Heineken was the first brand doing a collaboration. Now seven years later, the word collaboration has become oversaturated. The world doesn’t need another collaboration unless it makes sense,” he said.

He explained that seven years ago, social media simply meant taking a photo and putting it online. Fast forward to now and it’s a different ballgame. Curtis said, “Only the best break through.” To accomplish that, he has to consider how the external packaging to accompany the product best represents the message the brand wants to convey. In the case of the Tumi product, the green stripe may be the only representation of Heineken on the outside of the item – although other branding and logos are inside – but the bags are sent out in an emerald green box with the #Heineken100 tag imprinted on the box, Curtis said. And recipients are capturing that and how the bags are used on Snapchat and Instagram.

As for why these types of bags were chosen for the campaign, Curtis said: “The tote and duffel bags, for the caliber of the people we were sending it to, they don’t need another product in their lives. What they do need are things to help them traverse the world more efficiently. Our guy may or may not have the tote or backpack duffel, but they are in dire need of a roller that’s an overhead storage bag.”

Raul Esquer, Heineken USA brand manager, said, “With an internationally known brand like Tumi, this year’s #Heineken100 program has been more successful than ever before.”

Past partners in the #Heineken100 program include apparel brand Public School; leather goods brand Parabellum; high-end eyewear label Garrett Leight California Optical; fashion designer Mark McNairy; street gear retailer Kith and men’s boutique store Union Los Angeles.

Samsonite acquired Tumi earlier this year in a $1.8 billion transaction.


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