In 1983, a group of childhood friends pulled off the crime of the century: kidnapping one of the richest men in the world, the heir of the Heineken beer empire (Anthony Hopkins). The shocking capture by gunpoint in broad daylight on the streets of Amsterdam, resulted in the largest ransom ever paid for a kidnapped individual. It was the perfect crime… until they got away with it. 



Based on a true story, Kidnapping Mr. Heineken is an intelligent, sophisticated crime thriller that appeals to a mainstream AB male skewed audience, the challenge was to feed the intrigue and build awareness for the theatrical release in a highly competitive corridor. 



First off, we needed to create a design language and brand around the film, something bold and iconic that could capture the story of passion, grit and attitude that engulfed the story. The scope of work extended from the delivery of high-end printed collateral and digital assets to TV spots and merchandise to launch the film into cinemas. 


The films main storyline focused on the kidnapping and ransom of the heir to the Heineken beer empire, Alfred Heineken. We leveraged a limited advertising budget by partnering with online media outlets to launch a competition through their assets to drive awareness. Users were challenged to share photos via social feed of where they would stash the ransom money for their chance to win a cash prize. The campaign was a truly multiscreen experience driving trailer and TV views, social buzz as well as entries to the competition. 

“Money, piles of greenbacks, millions:
that’s what it was all about.”

The Result

Results were above expectations with the following achieved in only 3 weeks:

  • 124% increase in Facebook fans.
  • Campaign reach of over 5 million.
  • 1 million+ video views.
  • 200+ competition entries.
  • The book tie in was the first English edition ever published.
  • Localised key artwork was picked up by international distributors in the UAE and Greece, and was adapted for use in the UK and France.