Brand Experience and Activation > Campaign


COLENSO BBDO, Auckland / HEINEKEN / 2016


Gold Cannes Lions
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DB Export has always been a beer that had led the way in New Zealand. The creative platform that this work was operating under was ‘DB Export – Made By Doing’ which celebrates the pioneering history of both the beer and its founder, Morton Coutts.

Our idea was to turn drinking beer into a selfless act of environmental heroism. So we took the surplus yeast leftover after we finished brewing DB Export, and used it to create a biofuel called DB Export Brewtroleum. Brewtroleum emits 8% less carbon than traditional petroleum, so every time a man drinks DB Export, he’s helping to save the entire world.

By taking Brewtroleum to every Gull petrol station in NZ, we went beyond a usual promotional campaign –consumers all over the country were paying $2.08/litre to engage with our product and then being called upon to drink more beer to help us make more!


To launch the idea we completely rebranded an existing petrol station in downtown Auckland. From the street sign right through to the pumps, no detail was overlooked. The station was opened by the Government’s environmental minister and resulted in kilometre long traffic jams across the city.

Supported by an integrated campaign that included TV, outdoor and digital, Brewtroleum was rolled out to 62 Gull petrol stations across New Zealand. For 6 weeks, almost the entire country had the opportunity to fill their cars with Brewtroleum. A fully branded super tanker travelled the country delivering Brewtroleum to stations, where it sold for $2.05 a litre.

We inserted in-pack vouchers for $5 off Brewtroleum fill ups and when they toped their car up, they received a discount voucher for DB Export Beer. This created a virtuous circle between pump and product, ensuring our supply of Brewtroleum never ran dry.


The most important result of this campaign was simple. In a beer market declining at 6% per anum, sales of DB Export grew by an unprecedented 10% making it the fastest growing beer brand in the country.

58,000 tonnes of yeast slurry was turned into 300,000 litres of Brewtroleum allowing it to be sold on pump at 62 stations around the country. This meant that in essence, the nation was essentially paying $2.05/litre for our promotional product.

During the campaign period 8.6 million bottles of DB Export were sold.

The campaign resulted in a 50,000kg reduction in carbon emissions, and DB Breweries went on to win the nation’s highest sustainability award - the ‘Renewable Innovation Award’.

Heineken are now rolling the idea out through 50 of their biggest global breweries, potentially saving millions of tonnes of carbon from entering the atmosphere.


At the heart of this campaign was Brewtroleum biofuel. Not only did it turn every Gull petrol station in New Zealand into a promotional space for DB, but it also gave the campaign a clear and simple way for consumers to be involved.

In order to make Brewtroleum, and save the entire world. we needed men to get involved, to drink DB Export. This was an ongoing brand promotion that men were happy to be involved with!

Our Brewtroleum petrol tanker toured the country, providing a rolling mobile activation that drove buzz and conversation to every location it visited.


Men aged 25-34 are the biggest beer consumers both in New Zealand, and worldwide. This demographic is often painted as self-centred, blokey, and prone to moments of stupidity and shortsightedness.

But our research into our core target market unearthed some more noble traits than the usual cliches suggest. We discovered that these men want to make a difference. They want to make their mark on the world and are more invested in their environment than we give them credit for. Sure, they’re still often blokey. Still prone to moments of stupidity but with underlying character traits that gave us a great way in.


he simple call to action across all Brewtroleum promotional activity – drink DB Export, save the entire world – created a fun permissability around beer drinking. It allowed NZ men, who had been turning away from the beer category, to feel good about themselves for choosing us.


Beer consumption is in steep decline globally, no where more so than in New Zealand where it is at its lowest since World War 2. We were briefed to create a TV ad to try and address this decline but we soon realised that Kiwi blokes didn’t need another cliché beer ad. What they needed was a brilliant reason to re-embrace (and drink more) beer. So that’s what we gave them.

We set about creating a way that men could save the planet by doing what they love, an idea that would help men justify drinking more beer by turning drinking into a selfless act of sustainability. DB Export Brewtroleum. In doing so, we created an entire new layer of permissibility around DB’s products.

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