Cannes Lions



Presentation Image
Supporting Images
Supporting Images






In 2013 the Irish Alcohol Industry faced a large negative media backlash. Headlines presented young people as irresponsible drinkers with alcohol brands pushing drinking occasions as the core problem.

Young consumers were sick of being told they were irresponsible and Heineken was tired of being painted in a negative light given our global commitment to a responsible drinking agenda.

To address these challenges we needed to get males, aged 18-34 to view Heineken as a brand that is committed to responsible consumption, innovative, and relevant to their world, overcoming their belief that Heineken is not as exciting or different as other beer brands.

Something had to give to achieve this. How do we credibly talk about responsible drinking without being patronising? We needed to create a positive message around drinking responsibly.

Heineken is the title sponsor of Ireland’s biggest music festival Electric Picnic. Moving from the usual bar areas, we decided to give festival goers a BIG surprise.

We ‘pimped-up’ the drab Water Stations at the festival to encourage festivalgoers to drink water in between beers allowing them to enjoy more experiences by staying in control of their drinking.

Once 500 gallons of water was consumed each day, magic ensued. Deep in the forest, a 50ft-illuminated waterfall came to life printing messages from festivalgoers. Word soon spread, with the volume of water drank at the festival increased by 30% over the previous year. We amplified our message nationally through social media & PR.

Suddenly, drinking responsibly had a positive connotation.


The activation was kept secret with only the production team and festival owners in the know. It required months of design, innovation and planning.

The process of integrating Heineken into the waterstations had to feel real, not clichéd and not another bar. It had to stay true to the integrity of Heineken in order to deliver our message. Materials used included natural wood finishes and green grass with screens displaying water consumption.

Despite testing we experienced Wi-Fi issues on site. This affected how people communicated messages to us but rectified the issue swiftly by bringing in boosters.

Running for three days, the idea of an alcohol brand supplying waterstations was a world first. Surprising consumers by giving out water instead of beer? We got their attention! The 50ft waterfall in the forest gave them a unique and positive experience. Our PR outreach campaign then delivered it to a national audience.


Water Stations: 23,808 People, drank 3,095 Gallons of water (30% increase on previous year)

Water Curtain: 7,200 People visited us in the forest (1/4 of festival population)

1,200 messages were captured

Footprint: Heineken #1 name-checked brand at Electric Picnic, a result generated from the WaterFall and it’s music activation, Sound Atlas.

PR: Four of the Ireland's national online and print publications with a combined reach of 3,427,300 featured full key messaging, imagery and video content. That’s a quarter of Ireland’s population!

Social Media: 66,972 Twitter impressions

Equity: National Equity Scores amongst 18-34 adults (pre vs. post campaign):

- ‘Responsible Consumption’ score jumped 27% nationally (32% to 36%)

- ‘Innovative Brand’ score jumped 17% nationally (30% to 35%)

- ‘Distinctive Brand’ score jumped 150% nationally (14% to 35%)

Source: Heineken OneEquity dashboard

Similar Campaigns

12 items

Yili - Tortoise & Hare: A Race Free Year

BBDO CHINA, Shanghai

Yili - Tortoise & Hare: A Race Free Year

2023, YILI

(opens in a new tab)