- Heineken USA is partnering with Waze and its mobile ad offering to discourage drunken driving, per an announcement emailed to Marketing Dive. Starting on May 27, Waze users in California will receive Heineken-branded ads when stationary reminding them not to drink and drive.
- The ads will specifically target drivers heading to social venues, such as parks, restaurants and sports stadiums. Heineken anticipates a surge in social activity starting Memorial Day weekend and ahead of California's planned reopening on June 15, per the announcement. Heineken will also provide credits redeemable for a free Uber ride for interested participants.
- Heineken's new campaign sees the brewer leveraging Waze's in-app mobile ad offering to strengthen its standing as a brand that cares about responsible drinking. The tie-up also arrives as more brands, especially in the alcohol industry, are preparing for consumers' return to pre-pandemic lifestyles.
Heineken's latest marketing effort resumes its social good-focused messaging through a highly targeted mobile activation. Waze, which was acquired by Google in 2013, uses a destination-based marketing strategy through which the app is able to tailor ads to drivers based on where they are going. Heineken's drunken driving-oriented message will leverage this mobile tech to target specifically those consumers who are headed to destinations that may expose them to alcohol consumption, such as parks, restaurants and sports stadiums. Moreover, not only will the beer brand send drivers in-app, Heineken-branded notifications, but it will also provide credits redeemable for a free Uber ride for those who are interested, a move that illustrates Heineken is committed to responsible consumption.
"Enjoy Heineken Responsibly" continues to be a pillar of the brand's engagement with consumers, even as fatalities stemming from drunken driving have decreased over the years, according to the announcement. In 2020, Heineken's parent company Heineken N.V. invested 10% of its media spend in responsible consumption campaigns, a goal it intends to maintain in the years following. The brand in 2017 introduced its non-alcoholic beverage, Heineken 0.0, which made its way to the U.S. in 2019 powered by buzzy marketing efforts featuring movie and TV stars.
The tie-up with Waze expands upon two larger, company-wide efforts in particular: Heineken N.V.'s "When You Drink, Never Drive" campaign, launched in 2016 as a partnership with Formula One racing, and its 2030 Brew a Better World program, which was announced last month and sets environmental, sustainability and responsible consumption goals for its brands.
Heineken's new campaign arrives at an exciting yet uncertain time for the U.S. as an increasing number of vaccinations are leading to more states reopening their economies to pre-pandemic levels. In California, where the Waze ads will launch, virtually all COVID-related restrictions will end starting June 15, including capacities on mass sporting events and concerts.
Faced with a changing society, Heineken joins a growing number of brands who are reframing their messaging around a return to normalcy. Earlier this month, Pepsi released a polarizing TV spot called "The Mess We Miss," which portrays a future where people take part in germ-spreading activities, and the following week Coke launched its own anticipation of normal society through poetic packaging evoking summer. The alcohol industry in particular has taken to these campaigns, as people return to bars and social events resume for the warmer months.