Heineken Italy and JWT Italia Milan created a project dedicated to calling relevance to Heineken-UEFA Champions League sponsorship. The unique program, focused on males age 18 to 24, created a fake event of poetry and classical music to take place on the same night as the big match, Real Madrid versus Milan.
Using a unique personal approach to convince 1000 fans of AC Milan to skip the huge contest, which was slated for October 21 2009, and attend the make believe event instead, the agency used girlfriends, chiefs, and journalists to help recruit and convince the victims into attending. All of these people were provided invitation cards and Direct Mails and Poster campaigns were also utilized.
15 minutes into the concert, attendees were let in on the charade and were treated to being able to watch the game, courtesy of Heineken, on a big screen.
The results for the campaign were staggering. Though only 1000 people were directly involved, the affect went much deeper. 6 million people saw the even live on television, 10 million consumers watched it on the news the next day, and many more millions spoke about it across the internet worldwide.
The project received three gold Lions (Promo & Activation Lions Event and Field Marketing, Lions Best Integrated Campaign, and Lions Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity endorsement), one silver (Direct Lions Ambient Media), and one bronze (Direct Lions) this year at Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.