Cannes Lions: Heinekin Shutters wins Grand Prix

(Heineken and Publicis Italy take home OOH Grand Prix)

Heineken’s innovative Shutters initiative, created by Publicis Italy, has won a Grand Prix and a Silver Lion in the Outdoor Lions category at the Cannes Lions 2021.

As part of the Heineken global #SocializeResponsibly campaign, Shutters reimagined out-of-home advertising to help more than 5,000 bars around the world survive and re-open following Covid-19.

A natural evolution from Heineken’s successful Back the Bars campaign that supported outlets forced to close throughout 2020, Shutters saw Heineken redirect some of its investment in outdoor advertising (which accounts for 10% of its global media budget) to support its on-trade partners affected by the Covid-19 closures.

Instead of using traditional OOH advertising routes, Heineken paid outlets in Argentina, Germany, Indonesia, Italy, and Spain to display messages such as “See this ad today, enjoy this bar tomorrow” on their facades, windows, and shutters – turning them into a new, more sustainable media-buying platform. Watch the case study below:

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An immensely creative approach to a unique situation, Shutters raised awareness of the challenges faced by on-trade outlets tackling some of the problems caused by Covid-19 closures directly, redistributing €7.5 million to the bars involved.

Beyond this success, the initiative demonstrated the impact that innovative ways of working with sales can have. Shutters gained 40% more media value than traditional OOH routes. Plus, it prompted other Heineken® brands – and even competitors – to join in the effort to support on-trade outlets.

Most importantly, 100% of the bars involved in the Shutters initiative have now re-opened.

Bram Westenbrink, global head of Heineken Brand, said: “We are incredibly proud to have won a Grand Prix and a Silver Lion at the Cannes Lions for this creative and meaningful response to the unprecedented challenges our local on-trade partners have faced during the pandemic. The results we have achieved with the Shutters initiative speak for themselves. Bars are one of our biggest partners, so we are delighted to have found a way to support them – even when they were forced to close their shutters. It demonstrates the positive impact that innovation can have on the community and shows how we all have a role to play in keeping our bars open.”

Bruno Bertelli, executive creative director for Publicis Italy, said: “I am extremely proud our first Grand Prix for Heineken is coming with a powerful act that will signal the nature of the work we collectively want to do moving forwards and is a testament to our strong partnership, our joined ambition and ongoing collaboration to create value for the brand and our consumers.”

Stay with Reel 360 for our 2021 virtual Cannes Lions coverage.