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Behind the Idea: Drinks have no gender

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Heineken has launched a new global campaign, “Cheers to All”, with a light-hearted view on the stereotypes that are associated with ordering certain drinks.

Through the light-hearted film, which shows men and women being served the wrong drink, Heineken wants to remind people that everyone should feel free to enjoy the drink they prefer. The campaign was inspired by real-life experiences that everyone can relate to and acknowledges drink-related stereotypes in an entertaining way.

We caught up with Cristiana Boccassini ECD at Publicis Italy, to discuss the bold concept at the heart of the campaign and why drinks have no gender.

What was the brief?

The brief was to give a fresh perspective on the stereotypes associated with ordering certain drinks. We wanted to create an ad that supports the belief that drinks have no gender.

How did the initial conversations/pitch/brainstorming phase go?

Heineken’s communications strategy is based on the belief that if you look at life with a fresh perspective, you will enjoy it more because it opens your eyes. Humour is a big part of that. The idea for this campaign was inspired by real-life experiences that everyone can relate to because something like this has happened to all of us. 

Breaking down these stereotypes involves acknowledging them. We wanted to do this in entertaining way, using humour and wit to remind everyone that drinks have no gender. 

Tell us about the concept and why it was the right choice?

“Cheers to All” is about breaking drinker stereotypes. There’s no reason why beer should be for men and cocktails for women. 

The film is a montage of men and women being served the wrong drink, a Heineken or a cocktail respectively, when in fact they had ordered inversely. As they look around the restaurant or bar with baffled expressions, or with a smile on their faces, they swap drinks to enjoy their drink of choice.

When you see it, you smile because something like this has happened to all of us. That’s why it resonates.

What was the production process like and were there any significant challenges to overcome?

It was exciting to bring this ad to life through a light-hearted view on the stereotypes that are associated with ordering certain drinks. It’s something that all of our team relates to.

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What’s the main message of the campaign and why is it important?

Traditionally the category has been male-centric. We want to break stereotypes. With the ad showing a fresh perspective on drinker stereotypes, we want to show a picture of society that is real and that treats people equally.

Why will the final assets resonate with consumers?

This ad is based on real-life experiences that everyone can relate to – a mishap where you’re served the wrong drink based on your gender. It will cut through because it gives a fresh perspective on something everyone’s experienced before, but it does so in an entertaining way.

What do you hope it achieves for the brand now it’s out and how satisfying is it to have released the campaign?

“Cheers to All” is about breaking stereotypes and showing that drinks have no gender. We hope it reminds people around the world that everyone should feel free to enjoy the drink they prefer.

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