Sobering research shows young Kiwis think moderation is cool – Heineken takes the message to TV

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New local research – conducted by TNS for Heineken NZ – into the drinking attitudes of millennial consumers in New Zealand has revealed insights into the motivating factors for moderating1 alcohol consumption, and suggests drinking moderately during nights out is now considered ‘cool’.

TNS questioned 150 Kiwis – male and female millennials (aged 18-29) who drink alcohol at least occasionally.

The participants told the researchers that the key to a great night out is spending time with friends, and 82% say they look to limit the amount of alcohol they drink on nights out. The majority of Kiwis surveyed think that moderating drinking is cool (67%) and respect others when they moderate their drinking (80%).

One in two millennials claimed to have looked after a friend that was too drunk. Having a night ruined by someone who was too drunk was also not uncommon (43%).

Millennial Kiwis also do not find drunkenness attractive in themselves or others – 54% said they were turned off by drunken people and 19% said they have stayed sober specifically to impress someone they are attracted to.

The popularity and reach of social media among this age group means that control of their self-image is paramount, with about one in three (31%) admitting that they had suffered from ‘social shaming’ caused by appearing to be drunk in a photo on social media.

The local research was conducted on behalf of Heineken to supplement global research that polled 5000 21-35 year-old premium beer drinkers in five countries (USA, UK, The Netherlands, Brazil, Mexico). It was commissioned to provide insight into the company’s latest Enjoy Heineken Responsibly campaign, called Moderate Drinkers Wanted – aimed at boosting the trend of responsible consumption.

Maud Meijboom, DB New Zealand’s director of marketing, said: “This study shows moderation is becoming an active choice for an image-conscious generation of Kiwis who want to stay in control on nights out and find drunkenness a general turn-off. The Moderate Drinkers Wanted campaign aims to add momentum to this trend by encouraging people to moderate their drinking, in a light hearted way.

“18-29 year olds have grown up in a world that is sharply different to previous generations, with social media and technology fuelling increased awareness of self-image and putting an emphasis on healthy living as desirable,” Meijboom said. “Drinking in moderation is one aspect of this – taking matters into their own hands, making positive lifestyle choices and attempting to make the best of every opportunity that is thrown at them.”

The campaign
Against this backdrop, Heineken NZ has launched a new brand-led campaign entitled Moderate Drinkers Wanted. For the first time, the hero of the ad directly says no to another drink, and the ad suggests he is more attractive because of this.

By showing positive behaviour Heineken believes it can help change consumer attitudes to alcohol consumption.

The new campaign builds on Heineken’s long-standing commitment to use its flagship brand to convey the Enjoy Responsibly message.

The spot goes to air in NZ tomorrow (Friday) night at 8:40pm on channel FOUR. It was directed by MJZ’s Nicolai Fuglsig and shot in LA bars and subways. The agency was Publicis Italy. In NZ, Porter Novelli handled the PR.

In addition to investing 10% of the brand’s media spend in dedicated responsible consumption campaigns, the message is also delivered through sponsorship platforms such as UEFA Champions League, Rugby World Cup and hundreds of music events around the world. The messaging also appeared on more than 8 billion bottles and cans in 2015.

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