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The Legendary Posters

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Stories that make us laugh, stories that leave us in awe, stories that unearth a new truth have the power to move us all. This belief is shared by two collaborators, although their expression of it is very diverse ways; Heineken, the world’s most international beer brand who inspires people to ‘Open Your World’ and Reporters Without Borders (RWB), a non-profit who champions the freedom of information and supports journalists seeking out stories that need to be told.

To support RWB, Heineken teamed up with over 40 Legends from the worlds of sport, entertainment and art to create a series of extraordinary posters. Each poster travelled the world, only to return with its very own unique story to tell. A story used to drive awareness and action for RWB amongst Heineken’s global community.

Heineken’s aspiring “Man Of The World” audience, is always seeking inspiration and stories of their own, so the idea that even a simple piece of paper could become legendary would be particularly motivating to instigate their support for RWB and build greater understanding of their cause in a truly captivating way.


Each poster began as a blank canvas but undertook an epic global journey. They met extraordinary people, lived through incredible experiences, and came back with uniquely captivating stories to tell. One poster played fireball with Jimmy Connors, another travelled to space. One popped popcorn on an Icelandic volcano, while another went 60m deep into Deans Blue Hole.

To take the posters’ stories beyond the paper, their creation was captured on film; raising greater awareness of the partnership with RWB and its pursuit of freedom of information across the world. This led to the creation of tangible, monetary value for the posters themselves that was later realised in a charity online auction on Tumblr.

To fuel awareness, conversation and bidding through our communications, Starcom MediaVest Group (SMG) connected each poster with an audience who had the most authentic interest in the story it had to tell. It took the physical and digital content created in this compelling programme and integrated it into all communications to bring the audience as close as possible to every poster and every experience shared.


SMG negotiated unique placements previously untouched by traditional outdoor and used advanced audience targeting to reach people most likely to engage, socially advocate and place a higher value on each of the 40 unique posters. 

To enhance their value and credibility the agency exhibited the posters in Amsterdam’s most popular public galleries; The Libertine and Gallery 33, and held a live event at the Stedelijk, the Netherland’s premier modern art and design museum. SMG invited the Heineken community, journalists and artists to get up close to the posters, exploring every unique mark and nuance to drive organic sharing, online viewing of the films and bids via the custom Tumblr page.

Using unique mobile billboards it also exhibited the real posters on the streets of Amsterdam, with custom displays in locations hyper-relevant to each poster’s story. Taking “The one that got its ass kicked by a kite surfing champion” back to the beach. “The one that went on a date with a French actress” to a European Film festival and “The one that played football with Dutch legend Ruud Gullit” to the city’s premier Football Club.

SMG leveraged Facebook interest targeting to distribute the films to specific Heineken fans worldwide based on their niche interests. Setting up key target groups with no market mandatories allowed us to maximise content views and traffic to the Tumblr page. The entire campaign was supported by a PR drive amongst the art, male-lifestyle and charity community.


40 stories unearthed.  40 posters sold. The campaign put the spotlight on Reporters Without Borders and their worthy cause. It generated awareness of over 28.5 million earned media views for RWB and Heineken and over 2,000 people visited the gallery events.

The Legendary Posters Tumblr site got 255,215 page visits. 75% of these were unique, with visitors spending a lengthy 5:20 min on average on the site engaging with the content. There were more than 151,000 views of the posters experience videos, with 87% of these being driven organically.

The hyper local out of home exhibitions drove conversion with bidding on the posters peaking during this period. Click rates on Facebook were up to 3.53% (against benchmark of 2%).

Most importantly people reaching the Tumblr page found the Legendary Posters stories extremely compelling and relevant to them with 25% of visitors committing to the cause and bidding on one of the posters. The highest poster went for €2,115 ($2,789) and overall the collection has raised over €25,000 ($33,000) for Reporters Without Borders to date.

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