Cannes Lions

Desperados Rave to Save

HEINEKEN, Amsterdam / DESPERADOS / 2022

Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Supporting Images
Case Film
Supporting Content
1 of 0 items






The pandemic is bankrupting nightclubs and their cultural scenes across Europe. The first to be shut down, they are also on course to be the last to open back up. Today 90% of nightclubs don’t expect to survive more than another four months.

With deep roots in club culture, Desperados wanted to do something major to help. But with the pandemic still raging, we needed to find a way to save nightclubs without stepping foot inside one.

We had two main goals for the campaign. The first was to cement our role in the party world as a true party ambassador, showing Desperados is there to support the party scene at a time it needs it most. The second was to continue to uphold our creative and experimental approach to party, by giving the party community an unexpected way to actively participate in saving their favourite nightclub.


To help save Europe’s favourite nightclubs hit hard by the pandemic, we created the world’s first ever dance powered fundraising app: Rave To Save. Calling on the party community to support their favourite clubs by doing what they do best– dancing.

The app captured every raver’s move using step-tracking technology— turning their dance moves into cold hard cash for their favourite nightclubs. For every 100 dance steps made €1 was raised. To boost support for the cause, Desperados matched all donations raised by partygoers.

Over four weeks, partygoers could join epic virtual raves hosted at clubs in the world’s nightclub capital– Berlin. Each party was streamed live via Beatport’s Facebook and Youtube channels, and a private zoom channel allowed partygoers to come together and dance virtually.


Desperados is a brand with deep roots in club culture and party community. Our audience holds deep passion for nightclubs and what they represent. To them, nightclubs are sacred spaces where freedom and self-expression are encouraged, and judgement is left at the door.

We knew that when consumers started to see their local club scenes destroyed under the weight of the pandemic, they felt deeply saddened and powerless watching it all unfold. We wanted to give them their power back, and to help them save their favourite party places.

As it was no longer possible to support clubs by going ‘out’, we had to find a creative way to keep nightclubs open — by taking the party, and the cause, online. With no dance powered fundraising technology out there already and a budget of €150k, we created our own. Three months of app development later, Rave to Save was born.


To kick things off, we seeded a hero film that introduced the app to the party community and got people downloading. Next, we took things offline to tease the first of four virtual parties, casting giant projections across Berlin’s cityscape, and calling on partygoers to act: “The future of club culture is in the hands of your feet.”

Each of the virtual parties took place on a Saturday night and were streamed with Beatport. In the days before our big events we enlisted Europe’s biggest DJ’s and influencers from the party world to hype people up on social media and invite them to join in on the cause by downloading the app.

One month into raising club-saving donations, we released a newsflash that captured the party-turned-movement, and a film announcing this is only the beginning— Rave To Save is coming to help more nightclubs in 2021 and beyond.


The launch of Rave to Save was a smashing success across Germany.

Our awareness film received over 50% view through rate on youtube and reached over 5 Million people.

On the day of our events our Rave to Save app recorded over 5 million dance steps, raising over €75k. An amount that was reinjected straight into German nightclubs in an effort to help them survive this crushing pandemic.

The aftermath showed just how much our efforts moved Germany and neighbouring countries with over half a Billion potential reach across news and social channels. And +17% of products sell out in Germany year to date.

But beyond the glorifying numbers, rates and % - the true success was the outpour of venues reaching out to host an event - reinforcing the real need for Rave to Save.

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Desperados Dance Club

WE ARE PI, Amsterdam

Desperados Dance Club


(opens in a new tab)