A glass of ‘occasionality’ please

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No, me neither. Apparently it’s the new buzz word from Heineken, which is seeking to differentiate itself from competitors with its new non-alcohol beer offering.

According to Heineken CMO Jonnie Cahill, occasionality is that one word he would use to describe the future of non-alcoholic beer.

“Occasionality ties in innovation by delivering new ways to enjoy beer – new occasions and joy. It’s all gotten very serious and complex. It should be about dancing and barbecues and relationships,” he adds.

“We need to make people smile again to bring them back to the category [of non-alcohol beer] rather than boring them to death.”

It’s not particularly catchy, nor as enticing a description such as “frothy”, “refreshing” or “crisp” but it certainly creates a pause for thought, causing the word, the drink, the brand to stick in the mind. Credit must go to the person or team who briefed the Heineken chief to throw in that word… Occasionality.

It shows the power and presence of words, or specifically a buzz word, even within an era where we may assume video or sound might hog the airwaves. A quirky word (occasionality) will worm its way into social media, web news and blog headlines and intros, and search engines – on this occasion intertwined with Heineken and the product it’s offering.

Speaker and author Yehuda Berg once said: “Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.” That certainly rings true, though one could possibly add an asterisk here:
*and the potential to sell non-alcoholic beer.