Are You Hombre Enough for Tecate?

Manliness typically isn’t a campaign metric marketers measure. But Heineken beer brand Tecate and Hispanic digital media company Terra asked consumers “Are You Hombre (Man) Enough?” in a multichannel challenge to drive brand engagement and awareness.

“Are You Hombre Enough?”—produced by Tecate’s media agency MediaVest 42 Degrees—fuses digital, social, and offline interactions to create “real life” and “virtual life,” life experiences for the target consumer—bicultural millennials who are 21 or older—says Tecate’s Brand Director Gustavo Guerra. To reach consumers offline, DEPORTadas, two “sassy” bilingual female sports journalists, are traveling to Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas (all areas with high concentrations of the target demographic) to interview men on their level of manliness.

Tecate also drives consumers to the online realm by featuring photos and videos of the DEPORTadas interviews on the campaign’s website. People are then asked to vote for which participant is the most “hombre” by ranking the gentleman on a one to five beer can scale—with one beer can being “you’re no hombre” and five beer cans being “bold hombre.” The manliest man of them all, as well as one random voter, will be eligible for the chance to win tickets to a sporting event. The campaign site also features information on the DEPORTadas, a map featuring where they’re traveling to next, as well as a portal that allows fans to register for the chance to win a trip to the U.S. Soccer Finals.  To register, participants must enter their name, birthdate, address, city, state, zip code, phone number, and email address.

However, Tecate makes it difficult for fans to participate. Before entering the website, consumers must verify that they’re 21 or older by signing in with their Facebook accounts. This verification process gives Terra access to consumers’ public profile, friend list, email address, birthday, current city, personal description, and likes. The consumer is then greeted personally and asked to like Tecate’s Facebook page before they can access any of the content.  This multi-step process seems to be affecting Tecate’s results. According to the brand’s YouTube channel, the video featuring the DEPORTadas in Chicago only has 23 views and the clip of them in Los Angeles only has 25.

Fans can also engage with the brand via Tecate’s Facebook page, which currently has more than 314,750 likes. Fans can determine their “Tecate Hombre Score” by taking a timed manliness quiz via the brand’s Facebook app. Participants can then share their score with others and have the chance to win up to $3,000 in cash or gift certificates. However, this engagement portal also comes with a data price. In order to participate, fans must again log in via Facebook or provide their email address. Again, Tecate asks for consumers’ age to screen for minors.

While I appreciate Tecate’s effort to only cater to those of a legal drinking age, I’m disappointed with how much data the brand collects. If the whole point of the campaign is to engage consumers, why would you block them from engaging with your content? The brand wants consumers to watch and vote on their videos—they can’t do that if they can’t access the videos. And if their consumers are anything like me, and granted I don’t fit their target demographic, they’ll get frustrated with all the steps they have to take and just abandon the campaign all together. To me, it says the brand values their consumers’ data more than the consumers themselves. It feels like a one-sided relationship, where I’m forced to give or I won’t receive anything in return.

I understand brands want to learn more about their customers, but if they want them to be customers for life, they have to give them some value. The campaign is scheduled to run until the end of October, but I think Tecate should make a few changes before then. For instance, I would advise Tecate to let fans access some content without having to log in. This allows people who are new to Tecate to explore the brand and rewards old customers for coming back. Plus it allows people to share the content, which drives engagement. Tecate could then invite fans to take a deeper dive into the brand by providing some content that requires fans to fork over their data. However, this gives consumers a choice of how deeply they want to engage with the brand instead of giving them an all-or-nothing ultimatum.

Plus, I feel like the brand pigeon-holes what manliness looks like. I know a lot of men like beer, sports, and women, but it would have been refreshing for the brand to show a wider range of men in their campaign, such as students, family men, or even young entrepreneurs.

I guess I’m just not hombre enough for Tecate, which is probably a good thing.

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