The relationship of adult beverage companies and professional racing can be a tricky one. The sight of the world’s fastest, most fearless drivers tearing up tracks marked with countless ads for whiskey or beer can seem to clash with the ever-present wisdom that alcohol and cars should not and do not mix.
Heineken challenged that notion head on with its “When You Drive Never Drink” campaign. On full display at last weekend’s Formula One Italian Grand Prix at Monza, the message used the massive publicity platform that is F1 to promote responsible enjoyment of Heineken’s product and a complete separation of the German beer and the steering wheel.
Heineken and Formula 1 announced their ant-drunk driving team-up last year. The two entities combined their extensive global reach to get out the simple, evergreen message that it’s essential, yet easy to not get behind the wheel after consuming alcohol. The targeted campaign passing along this responsibility message used the great Sir Jackie Stewart as its ambassador. The three-time F1 champion and broadcasting legend led the charge against drunk driving at Monza.
In the days leading up to the Grand Prix, Stewart joined sports stars Dida, Max Verstappen and fellow Heineken ambassador David Coulthart took each other on in a sponsored go-kart race at the Autodromo Nazionale Monza ahead of the grand prix this weekend. The race saw five UEFA Champions League Legends take on five F1 drivers in support of the When You Drive Never Drink program with €25,000 being donated to an Italian road safety charity. The F1 Stars took the day.
On race day, the When You Drink Never Drive banners dominated the race track at Italy’s most passionate race fans rooted for a Ferrari win. The Mercedes-Benz team took both first and second with Lewis Hamilton beating back the Italian red horde to win.