Steal­ing away with the cream of the crop.

Esquire (Malaysia) - - CULTURE - WORDS BY JA­SON TAN

Heineken Malaysia has re­vealed its new tip­ple, and it is smart, young and furry. Ap­ple Fox Cider is its sec­ond cider brand af­ter Strong­bow, and the pre-launch cam­paign nat­u­rally played on the fox­i­ness of the brand with a slew of WTF taglines.

It’s a great move be­cause lower-al­co­hol cider has cross-gen­der ap­peal and com­ple­ments beer bet­ter than wine does, es­pe­cially in this cli­mate. Ap­ple Fox Cider is said to be New Zealand-in­spired, and sweetly crisp like the re­fresh­ing new-world air.

Esquire has tracked down Ap­ple Fox Cider’s orig­i­nal lair, and we think it is Or­chard Thieves, orig­i­nally brewed by the Red­wood Cider Co in the home of the All-blacks. The Or­chard Thieves brand ex­tends to Ire­land too, where it’s made from fruit sourced from around

Europe in Heineken N.V’S cider mill in Here­ford in the UK.

Else­where, in the Nether­lands, it’s called Ap­ple Ban­dit, for the fox that al­ways steals away with the cream of crop. Heineken de­scribes Or­chard Thieves as “orig­i­nally com­ing from New Zealand and do­mes­ti­cated in Europe … It’s as sly as the fox and thus can be found in dif­fer­ent mar­kets un­der dif­fer­ent names”.

All the above are good ex­am­ples of prod­uct lo­cal­i­sa­tion. What’s Ap­ple Fox Cider’s schtick over here? Last we checked there are no ap­ple or­chards in this coun­try apart from the odd patch in East Malaysia.

But cider brings to mind plump ap­ples, happy juice, real farm­ers and mother na­ture. So for Heineken Malaysia’s next CSR project, Esquire sug­gests ex­tend­ing this nat­u­ral link by shin­ing a light on the won­der­ful but en­dan­gered fly­ing fox en­demic to the nu­san­tara.

This would be a great fol­low-up to its ad­mirable Tiger aware­ness cam­paign and cul­ti­vate re­newed public ap­pre­ci­a­tion for the re­gion’s bril­liantly lush life. The fly­ing fox is a pol­li­na­tor and thus piv­otal to the rude health of the rain­for­est. How many brands can say they give a fly­ing fox about any­thing real?

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