Cannes Lions

Café Solidaire

ALKEN-MAES, Mechelen / ALKEN MAES / 2020

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Case Film
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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

To slow the spread of Covid-19, many countries declared a state of emergency, forcing all businesses in the hospitality industry to close. For bars this meant a full stop to their business, with no way to create income. Many of these businesses are small, private enterprises, with an estimated average cash buffer of only20 days. Weeks of closure, and a full stop to their cashflow, would have far-reaching consequences.

Idea

Café Solidair is a campaign / e-commerce platform using the “pay it forward” principle: you pay in advance via the platform at your usual bar for your future Maes for a fixed price of 2.5€/beer, which you will drink once bars are back open.

Giving the owners extra financial resources during the lockdown.

Making sure your favourite place on earth survives. Alken Maes offered extra support by paying for the first pre-ordered 400 beers.

Strategy

Together with Alken Maes we decided to mitigate a problem that had become a main news topic: the closing of the hospitality sector.

As a lot of bars are affiliated to one beer brand or another for their supply of beer it was the perfect opportunity for a large brewer to show they support the Belgian beer and bar culture.

Execution

Café Solidair is a campaign and e-commerce platform using the “pay it forward” principle: you pay in advance via the platform at your usual bar for your future Maes for a fixed price of 2.5€/beer, which you will drink once bars are back open. Giving the owners extra financial resources during the lockdown. People or owners could enter their bar on the platform and start sharing the campaign on social media. This way the campaign was spread organically on the social media accounts of bars and of bar lovers alike.

Making sure your favourite place on earth survives. Alken Maes also offered extra support by paying for the first pre-ordered 400 beers.

In just a few days the entire campaign and donation platform was made.

Outcome

74% of the participating bars saw an increase in revenue, a number of those up to 28% more revenue!

Because of this the majority of the leading Belgian press covered the campaign. We reached over 30 million through social media, national and international press.

Due to the success, other brewers like Inbev quickly followed our example. The campaign has, almost exclusively, driven positive sentiment on social. This is due to the strategic decision to have communication driven by the bars themselves on their own social media channels, and not topdown via Alken Maes. Not communicating in a commercial branded way was essential for this result."

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