Sober Driving Campaign Commissioned by Heineken

Heineken has commissioned a team of global experts in Nudge Theory and Behavioural Design from Denmark to help tackle drink driving in New Zealand. The study (led by Krukow Behavior Design), kicks off today and will run through 2021, using a behavioural design approach to try to influence the decision-making process that Kiwis go through when presented with situations where they may drink and drive. The idea is to find ways to ‘nudge’ them to make the right decision, which is to not drink when driving.

Nudge theory is based on the premise that a whopping 90 percent of human decision making is automatically controlled by instincts and surroundings in the moment of choice, with only 10 percent of human decision making consciously controlled by knowledge and education.

The Heineken When You Drive Never Drink NZ study will explore a common scenario where New Zealanders may drink and drive. This scenario has been chosen based on consultation with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the behavioural scientists will follow this journey throughout the day to look to ‘hack’ the unconscious decision-making process and ensure that if people are driving, they don’t drink alcohol.

The first stage of the study is to map the journeys and interventions that will help prevent drinking and driving, which Heineken will then implement during 2021. In similar projects in other countries, interventions have involved changing the colour of roads, moving signs to unexpected places (like the ground) and finding interesting new ways to provide simple messages at key decision making moments in a person’s day.

During the crucial month of December, this will be complemented by 200 Heineken bars across main metro areas (Auckland, Hamilton, Wellington and Christchurch) providing free Heineken 0.0 to sober drivers alongside bold and inventive point of sale, to reinforce this message in venues.

Peter Simons, Managing Director of DB Breweries, explained that this behavioural design approach is an exciting new build on Heineken’s long-standing ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ programme that hopes to make measurable change in drink driving behaviour.

“Heineken is strongly committed to leading the responsible consumption of alcohol across the globe and the ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ programme is a key step in the mission to reduce drink driving behaviour. Every year, the brand invests at least 10 percent of its media spend on responsible consumption campaigns, and this year locally we are investing around 20 percent,” said Simons.

“At Heineken®, we believe that when driving, even one drink is one too many. As we head into the Christmas holiday period, a notoriously dangerous time on the roads each year, we hope that people make the right choice to not drink and drive. We know that drivers with a blood-alcohol level above zero, but less than the legal limit, are 46 percent more likely to be in an accident than sober drivers.”

To kick-off the behavioural design interventions and reinforce the message not to drink and drive, Heineken has this week launched a bold new campaign that may raise a few eyebrows.

At first glance, the billboards and other materials appear to urge people not to drink Heineken. On closer inspection, smaller text clarifies that this applies specifically to drivers. These messages will be seen around the country on billboards, in print, digital, radio, social and in office towers today in a one-day media takeover, and then throughout December 2020 and January 2021.