Heineken Proves That A Good DJ Can Make You Drink Less

So, don’t hire DJ Armin van Buuren. That’s the major lesson here.

Heineken, in line with its passion for creating guerrilla marketing efforts, decided to slightly reestablish its brand as a responsible “booze” by encouraging its consumers to drink responsibly rather than just drink. The only deal is that they still want to be the preferred brand. Thus, they cannot go all “grandpa brand” on us and preach the importance of staying sober.

To get the job done, they turned to music.


Aiming to send a message about responsible drinking, Heineken conducted an unscientific experiment that found clubgoers drank about 41% less when DJ Armin van Buuren was behind the turntable. That’s because they were dancing rather than drinking.


They did the experiment for two nights. During the first night, clubgoers were met with a really bad DJ that prompted them to turn to other forms of entertainment. That meant drinking. In the second night, DJ Armin van Buuren stood behind the table. However, the crowd didn’t know who it was at first. The music, I would assume, played for itself. The crowd went to the dance floor more. Thus, they ordered less.

It Wasn’t Perfect

There were, of course, too many variables in the experiment. The whole experiment had too many errors for it to be reliable. For one, it wasn’t an apples to apples comparison. Two days with two different crowds, different music played and different days  but it really doesn’t matter. It had enough “cool points” for club goers to believe its credibility.

The Whole Point

It’s a genius message and a genius strategy. For one, the message isn’t really directed towards consumers. It’s really for the club owners because they are the ones that hire the DJ. What it does to consumer is establish in their mind that Heineken is a brand that is cool and cares. It will only push them to go for a Heineken the next time they drink. The campaign doesn’t tell them to drink less, only that Heineken doesn’t want them to be irresponsible when they drink.

Then there is the “viral” thing. When a beer brand tells its market not to drink too much by emphasizing that music, not alcohol, should be the center of their night out, there’s something cool there. It prompted hundreds of thousands to pass the video to their friends. That’s organic advertising, a brilliant way to get your “word of mouth”.


Image: Timothy Hiatt/Getty Images

Written by Xath Cruz

Xath Cruz worked for the traditional advertising industry for more than 10 years handling international blue chip clients. She started doing digital advertising and marketing and web property development 4 years ago. She is also a screenplay writer with several full length movies under her belt.


Leave a Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.





Why Are We so Hooked on Prankvertising?

Coca-Cola Creates Virtual Vending Machine for Couples Only