Heineken – The Takeover: ‘The set belongs to the crowd’

The first music activation in history where the crowd in fully in control of the show.

AGENCY: MassiveMusic

CUSTOMER: Heineken International

DATE: International roll-out in various regional markets. Launch year 2016.



 Heineken is involved in music events and festivals around the globe. However, in such a cluttered environment it is hard to truly stand out as a brand. The brief was thus to develop an experiential concept that creatively brings the Heineken brand role to life in the live music event & festival environment. 

 We felt it was time to do things differently…


 Consumer research showed that music fans around the world have 4 common desires: 

  1. The desire to move across different music genres
  2. The desire to explore new music experiences
  3. The desire to showcase their music knowledge 
  4. The desire to actively participate


So what if we could let the crowd control the show? What if we could create an event where the crowd decides what gets played next? It would deliver on all of the 4 key consumer insights and deliver an experience that truly stands out.

 Heineken presents: the Takeover! The first event in history where the crowd is in control of the music, simply by raising their Heineken bottle.



22-29 years old music fans who are active, open-minded and with a thirst for experience.



(what & how, innovative tools & technologies used, main difficulties/challenges (500-800 characters)

 Every member of the audience received a voting device on their Heineken bottle upon purchase, which could be activated at the push of a button to emit a green or red glow.  

 By raising their red or green lit bottles in the air during voting moments, the audience chooses between two songs shown on a large screen. A special camera registers the votes and reflects the crowd’s choice on the screen in real-time, automatically mixing the winning song seamlessly into the set.

At the heart of it all is just 1 laptop, receiving input from the camera and controlling the output for the LED wall(s), the light show and sound system. 


 The main software running the show from the laptop is Ableton Live, along with the specially designed software Videosync - to enable video playback from Ableton - next to the usual audio. 

 We developed custom upgrades, plug-ins and applications built to enable the other features mentioned:

  •  Engine upgrades: enabling synchronization of audio, visual and light show 
  • A ‘voting’ plug-in: control all of the visual displays during voting moments
  • A ‘scene follow’ plug-in: assures the voting moments flow seamlessly into the winning track
  • Votes-registration software: measures the red and green input from the camera and translates this to a %. It also allows for calibration, cropping and masking of the camera image, to prevent any unwanted light interference.



(media coverage, live coverage, PR coverage, sales, press value, other KPIs)

 The Takeover is a music activation platform that is:

Scalable: all it requires is a screen, one laptop, one camera and a technician to run the full show. So whether it’s 50 or 50,000 people in the crowd, nothing changes at the basis of The Takeover.

Technology made easy and intuitive: With the high tech software marriage on the back-end, it is very easy for the crowd to get involved and actively participate.

 It allowed easy and cost-effective implementation in various countries around the globe, effectively delivery on its key objectives:

  •  Increased amount of visitors to Heineken’s music events 
  • Higher media exposure
  • Increased Heineken sales 


  • Best Creativity & Innovation – European Best Events Awards 2016
  • Best Musical Event – European Best Events Awards 2016
  • Best B2C Event – European Best Events Awards 2016 


  • Creative concept, music supervision, project management: MassiveMusic
  • Technical Development: Showsync
  • Content Design and Production: Westframe
  • Animation: Boompje


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