Colenso BBDO Auckland


Mainstream beer consumption is in steep decline globally, nowhere more so than in New Zealand where it is at its lowest since World War 2. Add to that the sustainability challenges that the world faces, we’re up against the coal face to make beer good again. Kiwi blokes don’t need another reason to drink more beer, but we gave them a reason to.

We created a way for people to drink with a purpose; saving the planet by doing what they love – drinking beer. But our primary audience wasn’t in fact the pub-goers. Instead, we wanted to make DB Export an integral part of the Kiwi infrastructure.

Sand. It’s used in everything and we’re running out of it. From construction to pharmaceuticals, two thirds of the world’s beaches are retreating because of the insane demand. So how could we set about changing this?

We built machines that turn empty beer bottles into a sand substitute. We put the power of sustainable drinking into the hands of Kiwis, asking them to sink a bottle of their favourite brew. The strategic design ensured that each machine turns a bottle of DB Export into sand in just 5 seconds. As your drinker pops the bottle in the machine, it’s pulverised by a vacuum system which removes contaminants like plastic labels, leaving behind 200 grams of sand substitute.

This campaign encouraged the entire nation to take action. We directed drinkers to take one simple action: empty a bottle of DB Export. The Sand Machine design itself created a new supply chain for us, whilst our TV, outdoor & digital campaigns and packaging redesign settled the score with the public.

New Zealand’s largest recycling company also got involved, creating commercial quantities of our sand by combining our empty bottles with non-recyclable glass destined for landfill. For every 12 pack of beer sold in New Zealand, 3 bottles end up in landfill. DB Export Beer Bottle Sand kept both sand on the beaches, and glass out of landfill.

Since the machines were connected to social media, we expected a huge public response. Then we saw the impact our innovation had on our supply chain, too.

In a category declining at 6%, DB Export drinkers emptied 35 million bottles - helping DB Export become the only mainstream beer to grow in value and volume.

Thousands of user-generated videos were shared from machines, with our campaign video receiving 53 million views and 700,000 shares.

Thanks to the human element of the campaign, Beer Bottle Sand was supplied to construction companies, roading projects, golf courses, and drainage companies around the country.

A two-year deal to supply Beer Bottle Sand to Drymix (New Zealand’s largest concrete producer) and a three-year deal with Placemakers and Downer (DIY chain and road infrastructure service) has seen us create our own brand of eco-concrete, enabling us to scale and sell a completely new product to a new audience nationally on a B2B front.

Then it went global. Requests for our machines have since come from as far away as Japan, with scoping to supply Dubai with 500 machines currently underway.

Date created: March 2017 2017-03-01T00:00:00+0000
Date published: 31 January 2018 2018-01-31T20:50:04+0000


AdStars - Bronze
AdStars - Silver
AdWeek Project Isaac - Winner
Cannes Lions - Bronze
D&AD Impact - Graphite Pencil
Echo's - Gold
Echo's Silver
Effie\'s - Bronze
Effie\'s - Gold
Effie\'s - Silver
Facebook Awards - Finalist
LIA Award - Gold
Spikes Asia - Bronze
Spikes Asia - Gold
Spikes Asia - Silver


  • Adnaan NarotProduction Coordinator
  • Amy DymondProducer
  • Andre SallowiczCreative Director
  • Brent CourtneySenior Designer
  • Brett ColliverArt Director
  • Brodie ReidGroup Business Director
  • Dan WrightExecutive Creative Director
  • James TuckerCreative Strategist
  • Levi SlavinChief Creative Officer
  • Mitch LovichBusiness Director
  • Mylene OngHead of Strategy
  • Nick WorthingtonCreative Chairman
  • Paul CourtneyExecutive Producer
  • Robert VelaAccount Executive
  • Simon VicarsCreative Director
  • Wade ShotterDirector
  • * Colenso BBDO
  • * Andy BloodExecutive Creative Director
  • * Angela WatsonHead of Account Management
  • * Scott ChapmanSenior Producer
  • * Levi SlavinChief Creative Officer
Annual 2018 GoldDB Export Beer Bottle SandExperiential Annual 2018 SilverDB Export Beer Bottle SandOOH Project featured: on 13th February 2018 Contributor:

Colenso BBDO has been a Contributor since 21st March 2018.

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