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Problem Solved: How Heineken and Publicis Made ‘An Ad That Saves Energy’



Heineken Brazil’s senior marketing manager Beatrice Marques Jordao discusses the ‘Blackout’ TV ad that promoted the beer brand’s ‘Green Energy Program’

Problem Solved: How Heineken and Publicis Made ‘An Ad That Saves Energy’

Publicis has been the global creative agency of the Heineken brand for several years, and together they have created campaigns and platforms such as ‘Green Your City’ and ‘Blackout’ - which have drawn attention to Heineken’s  ‘Green Energy Program’, one of the pillars of the brand’s sustainability strategy in Brazil.

In 2020, Heineken Brazil switched to renewable energy to brew its beer. After forming a partnership with a distributed energy company, the brand offered green energy to 208 million consumers in the country, allowing for savings of up to 20% on the consumers’ energy bills. In 2021, bars and restaurants were able to join the program, and now, as of April 2022, residential homeowners can get involved too.

To raise awareness of the project, Publicis Brazil created a primetime TV ad which displayed just a black screen with a voiceover for 30 seconds, followed by 15 seconds in which the Heineken logo and a QR code to a registration site were displayed. The spot, which ran earlier this year, saw audiences grabbed by its unique lack of visuals and its claim to be sustainable in itself. According to an energy consultancy, it saved enough energy to power a small city in Brazil for a few hours.

Senior marketing manager at Heineken in Brazil, Beatrice Marques Jordao, discusses the campaign further.

The Problem

We needed to make an invitation [to the ‘Green Energy Program’] that impacted people. Called ‘Blackout’, our action is unprecedented in Brazil and has the purpose of talking about our green energy program, which allows for a lower environmental impact and a reduction of up to 20% in the electricity bill of those who register.

The Heineken ‘Green Energy Program’ is a pioneering project by Heineken Brazil that aims to make renewable energy accessible for all people in the country. Now, everyone will be able to request this service for their homes, thus contributing to the environment and reducing their energy bills.

The ‘Blackout’ action was the way we found to invite people. With this campaign, we will be able to mobilise people, and thus present the Heineken ‘Green Energy Program’ as an innovative, ecologically sustainable alternative that benefits the business chain, in addition to positively impacting our entire ecosystem.


Effective and lasting changes are only possible through collective effort. This is one more way for us to collaborate for a greener future. Everything is always done in a very collaborative way with our agency. 

Publicis Brazil understood our direction to draw attention to the launch of this new phase of the ‘Green Energy Program’ and we loved the proposal. ‘Blackout’ is an invitation for people to engage and actively participate in this process of building a more balanced world. Our objective is to draw attention to the importance of the topic in a creative and impactful way, which also made saving energy a real possibility. 

According to LuzIS Consultoria, [the ‘Blackout’ ad] saved enough energy to supply a 57,000-person town in Brazil for a few hours.

Messaging and Design

In Brazil, ‘Green Your City’ is Heineken’s vision of people's relationship with urban life -  covering different themes ranging from the relationship with nightlife to sustainability, consumption and mobility. Therefore, it makes perfect sense to include the Heineken ‘Green Energy Program’ within this platform. We want to help raise people's awareness, lead a movement between now and the future, and carry out concrete actions that have meaning in everyone's lives.

Like any campaign, there is the challenge of being relevant and true to our consumer. We needed to address a real solution that could benefit them in some way. This campaign was built with many hands, with a multifunctional team. This included all the company and agency teams, from marketing to the sustainability team; all done with a lot of collaboration and responsibility.


o  The 45-second spot was aired on 33 million TVs on multiple open TV channels simultaneously.

o  The ad consumed 34% less energy when compared to the previous Sunday prime time slot in Brazil. (Enough energy to power a small city of 57 thousand inhabitants in Brazil for a few hours - Per LuzIS Consultancy.)

o  The spot has helped the ‘Green Energy Program’ offer green energy to 208 million consumers in Brazil, with potential savings of up to 20% on their energy bills.


Heineken's commitment is a path of no return, and this is just one more step in a long journey that we will follow. The campaign is now focused on the digital environment, and we will have news very soon.

We would like to invite all Brazilians to learn about our sustainability goals and the ‘Green Energy Program’. Let's go together in search of a greener future!

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Heineken , Thu, 18 Aug 2022 18:44:00 GMT