Dutch beer brand Heineken has extended its spontaneous travel campaign Departure Roulette. The brand's new Departure Roulette En Route is what they're calling a "social experiment that aims to push people outside of their comfort zones, crossing their borders for experiences unknown."
The effort seeks to encourage male millennial drinkers, in particular, and wants to capture the tension of the moment when travelers decide, "Yes, I'm going to do it," says Heineken Brand Director Belen Pamukoff.
Departure Roulette En Route follows an initial experiment at New York's John F. Kennedy International Airport in July, that the brand says "aimed to reward spontaneity and capture the genuine moment of facing an instantaneous decision."
In it, travelers were presented with an old-fashioned flight clicker board and a red button that would provide an alternate destination when pushed. Their social audience loved it; as of October 1, a video of the initial Departure Roulette campaign has 2.6 million views.
In En Route, Heineken started conversations with fans, who commented that they would press the red button if given the opportunity after seeing the initial campaign. The brand challenged some of these fans to make good on their claims after it arrived on their doorsteps in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York, inviting them to push the button and immediately embark on a trip to an unknown place themselves.
Destinations in Departure Roulette and En Route include "adventurous locations" like New Zealand, Spain, Romania, Estonia, Chile, Peru, Iceland, Morocco and South Korea.
As a result, the En Route video has 5.1 million views as of October 1.
Heineken gave away four trips in Departure Roulette and five in En Route, although Pamukoff is quick to add the objective is not giving away trips, but rather capturing the moment of decision of people willing to get out of their comfort zones.
The inspiration for the initial social experiment was Voyage, a campaign Heineken says dropped men in remote locations with basic supplies and directions, resulting in a "series of episodic adventures following the intrepid explorers on their legendary travel experience," Heineken says.
According to Pamukoff, Departure Roulette is the U.S. activation of Dropped, in which men "went outside their comfort zone and they experienced new things, cultures and became something better than before."
Heineken's campaigns focus on the moment of decision and tension, in particular.
"In these times, to talk to millennials, it's not enough to say you are from Amsterdam and have a brewing tradition since 1875. That doesn't hold much weight now. The only way to connect with millennials is to inspire them and to talk about what they care about. For Heinken, it's go beyond your borders," Pamukoff adds.
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Lisa Lacy is senior staff writer at ClickZ. In addition to ClickZ, her work has appeared in The Huffington Post, The Luxury Spot, LearnVest, MarthaStewart.com, GoodHousekeeping.com, amNewYork, and The Wall Street Journal. She's a graduate of Columbia's School of Journalism.
March 19, 2014