Harbin Beer uses time travel to tell a responsible drinking message in China

Harbin Beer has launched an ad that depicts a young man being warned from drink driving by his future self.

The responsible drinking message has an entertaining edge to it as the young man believes someone has stolen his key from him, only to reveal, after travelling a few years into his bright future, that it was actually his future self giving him a warning.

Vicky Ma, marketing director, Harbin Brand, said: “It is hard to connect with the Chinese youth through standard public service announcements. When you are young you see everything through a lens of possibilities. We wanted our message to focus around the idea of a bright future one risks losing by giving in to the temptation of drink-driving.”

Harbin Beer, one of China’s oldest beer brands, has been seeking a younger audience in its strategy, which has also included a focus on eSports.

The ad, by BBH China, comes from a wider CSR initiative from the Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev) brand called ‘Your Future Self’, which focused on the theme of ‘Smart Drinking: Don’t Drink & Drive’ for this ad.

Arthur Tsang, chief creative officer, BBH China, said: “This idea was sparked by the fact that in China, you are legally excluded from a number of surprising and attractive opportunities if you have a criminal record of drink-driving. We wanted to depart from the category norms of injury and death, which frankly young people are sick of hearing and believe it will never happen to them personally. Instead, we focus our Drink Driving campaign on the loss of something much closer to their hearts – their own brilliant future.”

The ad will be shown on TV, online and will also be developed for social and out of home activations.

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