Cannes Lions

Desperados Deep House

HEINEKEN INTERNATIONAL, Amsterdam / HEINEKEN / 2019

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Overview

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Credits

Overview

Background

A new generation is coming through that doesn’t see partying the same as their predecessors. That’s lead to a decline in sales across the entire alcohol category, including beer.

For Desperados, a beer infused with party spirit, this posed an important challenge. How could it keep the party alive with a new generation?

We set ourselves the goal of better understanding this new generation and how Desperados could be relevant to them.

Our KPIs for our work were

1. Creating conversation and relevance among a new generation of drinkers

2. Driving sales growth in a shrinking category.

Idea

Desperados was born from an experiment (mixing beer with tequila), and the campaign idea is founded on experimenting and remixing party culture and enjoying the hell out of the results.

‘‘We Are the Party’ is a campaign for a generation that believes parties can happen wherever you make them.

We wanted to open it with a big statement. So we created a party in the craziest place we could think of: at the bottom of the world’s deepest swimming pool.

‘Deep House’ was hosted 42 meters below sea level in Venice, featuring two of the world’s hottest DJ’s spinning records from a customized air tank.

We flew in 400 influential guests from around Europe and gave them customized diving helmets to blast oxygen and tunes at the same time.

Together we created something that became the talk of Europe, and inspired millions to take the party spirit to new places.

Strategy

We knew we wanted to connect with 18-24 drinkers and their changing views of party culture. Much has been written about how much less hedonistic this generation is, but the more we got to know them the more we disagreed with that assessment.

In fact it seemed they took a party spirit with them everywhere. Their social media feeds are crammed with videos of them doing the latest crazy dances, pulling pranks and seeking new forms of adventure.

From this we committed to an important shift: embracing a more expansive view of partying and the idea that parties happen wherever you make them.

We knew that the only way to credibly do this was to play an active role, throwing experimental parties ourselves and allowing people to turn up, watch, comment and generally join in the fun.

Execution

On the dancefloor the rules are different, and no more so than at Deep House. We took usual dancefloor elements – music, lights, DJs, dancers – and transformed them into a unique underwater experience.

Superstar DJs Peggy Gou and Artwork provided the sub-aquatic soundtrack, with Artwork’s specially-produced track ‘Deep Down’ the anthem of the night.

Those who took the plunge enjoyed a world-first audio experience: specially modified SeaTREK helmets, an underwater sound system, and ‘butt kickers’ – kinetic speakers embedded in the dancefloor that meant our submerged ravers felt, as well as heard, the music.

Lights, lasers, UV waterfalls and freedivers in sequins turned this from a sonic adventure into a truly immersive, multisensory experience that blew everything before it out of the water.

Around the pool global party gurus Elrow threw a confetti-filled after-party, joined by hundreds of local party goers who’d come to witness this unprecedented party moment.

Outcome

Deep House was Desperados most viewed, shared, liked and talked about campaign ever.

It made global headlines in mainstream news channels across the world including CNN, NBC & FRANCE 24, the campaign reached 1.2 Billion people.

It drove a +981% uplift in brand engagement, with 471,000 people engaging with the event hashtag. It even drove engagement in markets where we had no paid media spend.

Most importantly it helped create 13% sales growth for the brand year on year in a category that shrank by -0.2% globally.

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