PUBLICIS ITALY, Milan / HEINEKEN / 2018
In 2018, Formula 1 banned grid girls from the races – grid girls that Heineken was sponsoring.
As a channel, they gave big visibility to Heineken in the build-up to the race. They were featured in the pre-race coverage on TV, gave photo opportunities with drivers and fans, and appeared in general Formula 1 PR photos and coverage.
However, we had the opportunity to transform this negative into a positive: substitute the grid girls with a creative idea that can create buzz around Heineken.
On the grid line in Monza, drivers will experience a never-seen before refreshment: waiters serving them bottles of Heineken 0.0, the only Heineken they can enjoy before driving.
Heineken is the main alcohol sponsor of Formula 1 – however, this sponsorship has been the topic of much debate. Some accused the beer brand of encouraging drinking and driving.
Our task, with the “Zero Alcohol At The Wheel” campaign, was to globally reinforce the message that Heineken never condones drinking and driving – and we did so with the best, most high-profile drivers in the world: F1 pilots. We needed to show that when you drive, the only beer you can afford to have is non-alcoholic.
The day of the race, 2nd of September 2018, 20 waiters brought a 0.0 bottle to each driver on the Grid Line, in Monza.
Our guys, women and men, dressed up for the special occasion, walked through the temple of F1 with their tray and stood next to the drivers in front of the eyes of all the world.
The activation was further expanded upon on the brand’s social media channels. The main key visual and dedicated digital formats were shared on Heineken's Facebook, Instagram and YouTube profiles: over 4 million viewers watched the content, and many others reacted on organic blog posts, articles shares and user generated content. The brand activated local influencers to cover the national target more effectively, while enjoying a global resonance thanks to its role as official partner of Formula 1.