Cannes Lions

The January Dry Pack

FAST HORSE, Minneapolis / HEINEKEN 0.0 / 2020

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Overview

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Overview

Background

Heineken® not only needed to close 2019 strong but kick off 2020 even stronger to get back to growth. With limited marketing dollars available at year end, activations needed to embrace the power of big ideas rather than big budgets. KPIs included earned media impressions and social buzz. But the true measure of success would be a boost in sales.

Heineken®’s marketing strategy is founded on the belief that if you look at life with a fresh perspective, you will enjoy it more. That means looking for clever ways to connect with consumers by presenting the familiar in unfamiliar ways.

We spotted an opportunity in an unlikely place – Dry January -- a month where more and more people resolve to go sober for the first 31 days of the year.

Idea

How does a beer brand celebrate Dry January? With beer, of course. The campaign’s centerpiece: The Heineken® 0.0 January Dry Pack. This limited-edition, alcohol-free 31-pack was created for anyone vowing to participate in Dry January. With a package design reminiscent of an advent calendar, we had sober-curious consumers covered.

The activation not only served up an opportunity to drive widespread attention, but the direct-to-consumer sampling opportunity had the potential to lift the entire brand portfolio since trial of Heineken® 0.0 has the ability to drive consideration and purchase for Heineken® during traditional beer-drinking occasions.

Strategy

Although Dry January had gained momentum in the U.S., our audit indicated that no brands had successfully inserted themselves into the conversation around the trend. We set out to change that by spotlighting Heineken® 0.0, an alcohol-free version of the flagship brand that had launched in the U.S. in 2019.

Dry January and New Year's resolutions come with the connotation of having to give something up. Heineken® 0.0’s messaging is centered on #NowYouCan, giving us a unique opportunity to empower consumers to go alcohol free without sacrificing their social lives.

We identified a timely hook and a strategic way into the conversation with a creative idea that delivered on the Fresh Perspectives platform and “Now You Can” messaging. Our bold ambition: make Heineken® 0.0 own Dry January.

Execution

While New Year’s resolutions usually mean setting unrealistic goals nobody wants to conquer, we turned the 31-pack into a calendar so Dry January participants could look forward to one alcohol-free beer each day.

Creating the 31-pack was one thing; ensuring it spread organically to the masses was another. A call-to-action drove beer lovers to JanuaryDryPack.com to claim their free 31-pack before the new year, since research indicated that conversation around Dry January peaked in late December. The packs themselves served as ready-to-drink media and influencer kits, creating an irresistible image to accompany the timely news hook.

Employing the laws of scarcity generated instant demand with only a few thousand packs available—a few of which found their way to eBay. Meanwhile, all site visitors received product coupons to spur trial throughout the month.

Outcome

The effort generated more than 1.3 billion earned impressions across media and social. Highlights included coverage ranging from ABC News, NBC News and Forbes to Yahoo!, Thrillist and Delish, with more than 325 stories. Every story included at least two key messages for the brand.

On social, Heineken® 0.0 claimed more than 60 percent share of voice related to Dry January versus key competitors in the category, and 93 percent share of voice by engagement. The sentiment was 96 percent positive, a big achievement in social.

The true measure of success: sales of Heineken® 0.0 increased by 18 percent month-over-month and its performance helped lift sales of the entire Heineken® portfolio by 4 percent during the December/January timeframe.

As a beer brand embracing this month-long sober period, we were able to create a fun campaign that consumers didn’t see coming and a hook that media ate up.

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