Heineken USA Targets In-Car Responsible Drinking Message To California Drivers

Bringing its longstanding push for responsible drinking directly to drivers in their cars for the first time, Heineken USA has partnered with the Google-owned Waze GPS navigation app on a summertime pilot program in car-crazy California -- a state that’s scheduled to fully reopen post-pandemic June 15.

The campaign targets an estimated three four million users in the state, sending them a Waze top-of-screen notification once they’ve keyed in their destination and have stopped for at least four seconds.

The alert -- with minimal Heineken branding -- reminds Waze users 21 and over that “When You Drive, Never Drink,” and invites them to save an offer for a discounted Uber ride home. Drivers can then redeem the voucher any time during the summer. The amount of the discount varies based on location.

“Waze gave us an opportunity to reach consumers where we never have before: in the car,” Josephine Bertrams, Heineken USA senior vice president and chief corporate affairs officer, told Marketing Daily. She called the campaign an “evolution” of “something we’ve been doing all along,” namely Heineken’s global “When You Drive, Never Drink” campaign.



Heineken USA and Waze will consider possible extensions to other states and whether to continue the California program past Labor Day based partly on open rates for the notification and on the number of vouchers redeemed. But, as Bertrams noted, “Overall, it’s hard to measure accidents that don’t happen. Personally, if this only gets one person to do the right thing, it’s worth it.”

The campaign kicks off today, May 27. “With Memorial Day weekend historically being one of the biggest driving holidays of the year,” noted Fernando Belfort, head of Waze mid-market for North America, “this is a critical time to remind people on the road to drive safely and responsibly.”

Just last month, in announcing a program called 2030 Brew a Better World, Heineken’s global parent pledged to bring the company’s responsible consumption message to 1 billion consumers annually.

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