September 5, 2019
World-leading brewer Anheuser-Busch InBev (NYSE:BUD) celebrated the 12th year of its annual China smart drinking campaign by staging an awareness gala in Shanghai. Reinvented with a multi-cultural approach where heritage meets new lifestyles, this year’s campaign features a virtual character under its popular brand Harbin Beer and a major awareness animation co-produced with Beijing Forbidden City Culture Development Co. as the brewer seeks to address the country’s fast-changing social landscape in which drink-driving is becoming younger.
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Harbin Beer launches its first ever non-alcohol beer celebrating AB InBev’s Global Beer Responsible Day (Photo: Business Wire)
To better appeal to the country’s rising Z Generation consumers, AB InBev chose to incorporate different cultural elements popular within young Chinese consumers, including ACG, hip-hop, palace, and period drama, into its latest awareness campaign. This led to the creation of Hajiang, a virtual character, around whom an awareness animation was produced to tell a fictional story – Hajiang time-travels to the Qing Dynasty and becomes a royal driver, but she defies the emperor’s bestowed drink and pays back the royal favor by showing lessons learnt from how the impulse after drinking has embarrassed some of China’s most famous historical celebrities. Now available for viewing on China’s social media platforms as well as popular video sites, the animation marks a new attempt by both AB InBev and Harbin Beer to attract and influence the country’s increasingly sophisticated young consumers, who tend to reveal diversified interests and personalities at the same time.
The brand also took advantage of the opportunity to launch its first no-alcohol beer, seeking to empower Chinese consumers with practical in-life choices to change their behaviors as well as cultivate a new social norm. The brewer is now selling the no-alcohol offering in a palace-themed gift pack on e-commerce platforms, the sales of which will be donated to support the Ministry of Public Security’s underage traffic education program.
Offline, AB InBev has also rolled out a series of activities to complement and consolidate its online campaign by working with different stakeholders like the car-hailing App DIDA Chuxing to reduce chances of drink-driving and penetrating universities across China to reach more legal-drinking-age consumers.
As the leading brewer in the world, AB InBev has been committed to promoting smart drinking around the globe, announcing its Global Smart Drinking Goals in 2015. In China, the brewer has been resorting to a Public-Private-Partnership model in building awareness, working with respected partners including the Ministry of Public Security, Shanghai Traffic Police and the China Alcoholic Drinks Association to maximize positive impacts.