To promote the launch of its 0% alcohol beer, Heineken launched a campaign encouraging drivers in Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand to drink and drive. The brand placed the specially-designed ‘Driver’s Fridge’, which can only be unlocked with a car key, in public locations. Drivers were encouraged to help themselves to a free Heineken 0.0, allowing them to drink without the real risks of drunk driving. In February 2020, Heineken announced that the campaign had reached 350,000 people.
So, consumerism has finally reached a point where drinking and driving is the new cool ;) In all seriousness, here are two takeaways for your brand to stay relevant:
Are you interesting enough? We all know that people are inundated with marketing wherever they go. 47% of consumers are actively blocking advertising, with the main reason being ‘too many ads’. But the truth is, people will respond to anyone – yes, even brands! – with something valuable, interesting, or downright funny to say. Heineken telling consumers to drink and drive is an attention grabbing twist on the alcohol industry messaging consumers are used to. Could you use a counterintuitive message to snap consumer’s out of their ad-blocker in-real-life trance and engage them with your brand?
Wellness above all. Clever campaigning aside, this innovation points to a bigger shift. It is part of the endlessly evolving consumer pursuit of wellbeing. In the alcohol space, we’ve seen boutique brands and DTC startups offer alternatives promising fun with little-to-no alcohol – think Haus, Kin Euphorics, Senser, and more. To keep up with these shifting preferences, a major brewer is expanding the global rollout of its non-alcoholic offering (launched in the Netherlands in 2017) that, at first glance, goes against its heritage. The lesson here? In today’s fast-changing consumer landscape, your brand heritage could very well turn into brand baggage (read HERITAGE HERESY for more). It’s time to reflect! Is there an opportunity for you to rewrite the playbook of what it means to be you to stay relevant for new consumer attitudes?