Retail, Innovation and Manufacturing reporter for the NZ Herald

Heineken campaign promotes moderate drinker as heroic

Global beer brand Heineken is offering up a new kind of advertising to promote drinking in moderation, coinciding with the release of research showing millenials see limiting their drinking as important.

The Dutch beer brand has launched its ad campaign titled "moderate drinkers wanted" which portrays a man turning down a Heineken, as a hero for drinking in moderation.
Maud Meijboom, DB New Zealand's director of marketing, said the campaign was aimed at promoting drinking responsibly but in a more positive and relatable way.

"18 to 29 year olds have grown up in a world that is sharply different to previous generations, with social media and technology fueling increased awareness of self-image and putting an emphasis on healthy living as desirable - drinking in moderation is one aspect of this," Meijboom said. "I believe and Heineken believes that it is crucial to change that perspective [that binge drinking is cool], and we want people to be able to say I don't want to be drunk and I'm staying in control."

Research conducted by the company into how millenials were drinking showed 82 per cent tried to limit the amount they drink on nights out with half of those surveyed saying they had looked after friends who had been too drunk and 43 per cent saying they had had nights ruined by someone who was too drunk.

The research also showed younger kiwis did not find drunkenness attractive in themselves or others with 54 per cent saying they were turned off by drunken people and 19 per cent saying they have stayed sober specifically to impress someone they were attracted to.

"This study shows moderation is becoming an active choice for an image-conscious generation of Kiwis who want to stay in control on nights out and find drunkenness a general turn-off," Meijboom said. "The Moderate Drinkers Wanted campaign aims to add momentum to this trend by encouraging people to moderate their drinking, in a light hearted way."

Meijboom said while viewers might find a liquor company promoting drinking less as ironic, it was the company's responsibility to encourage drinking in moderation.

"Of course beer is in longer term decline but we want to be a sustainable business and so if we emphasise drinking more and try to get quick sales early then that won't help us in the longer term as a business or from a brand perspective," she said. "We need to promote responsible drinking."

The brand currently spends ten per cent of it's media budget on promoting responsible drinking.

- NZ Herald

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