No-Alcohol Doesn’t Mean No Fun

Heineken 0.0

A blue tinted photo inside streetcar with passengers partying around a DJ.

Heineken 0.0 wanted to find a way to show that no-alcohol doesn’t mean no fun. So, they tasked us with creating a new route to a night out. Our solution? A streetcar bar route.

After all the office parties, family gatherings and catching up with friends, many Canadians are hit with a long-lasting holiday hangover. That’s why so many take a break in the new year and switch to drinks with zero alcohol. 

But we weren’t satisfied with doing a dime-a- dozen ‘Dry Jan’ campaign, so Publicis’ strategy worked through the hectic holiday months and found clear-headed insights that go beyond the obvious.

The data showed us that uptake of alcohol-free beer is strong during the Canadian winter, but most people consume it alone at home and give up on going out. This is where our key insight revealed itself – people don’t think of non-alcoholic beer as worthy of ‘Night out status’. 

Armed with these insights, our job was clear – shift perceptions by keeping the party going. As Freddy Heineken once said, “we don’t sell beer, we sell good times”. We took this to heart and let the good time roll…right along the streetcar tracks.

We created a Heineken 0.0 branded streetcar, that made going out without alcohol not only fun, but a “You had to be there” experience. We weren’t just serving 0.0, we were serving FOMO.

This specially branded TTC streetcar cruised into Toronto neighbourhoods, transporting riders to the city’s hottest nightlife areas on Saturdays throughout January. With free Heineken 0.0 all night, some of Toronto’s hottest DJs and drop offs at partner bars, these were the rare winter nights where not going wasn’t an option.

Riders were able to hop aboard Heineken Route 0.0 free of charge at dedicated stops in the city. Starting at Union Station, the streetcar bar took riders on our unique route through some of the city’s liveliest spots, including King West, Queen West, and Parkdale. DJs included BAMBII, CYRUS and Karim Olen Ash, who kept the tracks on track and kept the dance floor going through downtown

But the good times didn’t stop once you hopped off. Heineken partnered with select local bars across the city where you could show your Route 0.0 wristband to skip the line, and cover charge, to grab some free Heineken 0.0 and keep the party going all night.

Select local bars participating in Heineken Route 0.0 include Belfast Love, Isabelle’s, The Parlour, The Drake Hotel, Death & Taxes, Three Dollar Bill, and Peaches Sports Bar.

This new route to a night was all about changing perceptions while letting people be themselves. Good times and great taste shouldn’t disappear when you stop drinking alcohol, and they certainly shouldn’t stop when winter tries to keep you down.