Lion’s going to the pub

October 29, 2021
By Ioni Doherty

Heineken and Lion Australia are shouting all Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne-based staff a $150 voucher to support the industry’s recovery. 

Fifteen hundred Lion team members are set to receive a voucher to give city venues a much-needed boost, encouraging colleagues to re-unite over a Heineken, a meal and a chat.

The staff stimulus package from Heineken will complement its ‘Back to the Bars’ creative, currently running across digital channels in Australia and first launched in Europe last year as part of its global initiative, #socialiseresponsibly.

The campaign is two-fold, aiming to support bars, celebrating their re-opening while reminding consumers to behave responsibly.

In fact, only by respecting safety regulations in the “new normal”, consumers will help bars to remain open and therefore will be able to continue to enjoy nights out with friends and after-work catch-ups with colleagues. The engaging call to action is “socialise responsibly to keep bars open.”

In a survey of Lion Australia employees conducted during COVID-19 lockdowns, 74 per cent said social connection was the most attractive aspect of returning to offices. This was the highest rated attractor, followed closely by formal and informal collaboration with others in the office. 

Additionally, a new international survey from IARD suggests that the closure of cafés, bars and restaurants during the pandemic has led to a decline in social and mental wellbeing.

The YouGov polling of 11,400 adults (1,041 in Australia), commissioned by the International Alliance for Responsible Drinking (IARD) of which Alcohol Beverages Australia (ABA) is Partnership Council member, comes after an extended period during which lockdown and curfew restrictions.

Two-thirds (67 per cent) of adults surveyed in Australia said the closure of hospitality venues during the pandemic negatively impacted the social and mental wellbeing of the general population, while almost half (45 per cent) agreed that their own social and mental wellbeing had been harmed.

Andrew Wilsmore, CEO of Alcohol Beverages Australia said: “Nearly half a million jobs were lost in hospitality and tourism at the height of the pandemic. As international and domestic borders reopen, we encourage Australians to embrace our awardwinning hospitality and tourism businesses as a way of re-connecting while also supporting venues that have struggled during lockdowns.”

November is expected to be when vibrant city life is expected to return along the easter seabord, including the after work drinks with colleagues.

Heineken Australia Country Manager, Willemijn Sneep said now it was time to bring this fantastic multi-faceted campaign to Australia to coincide with large swathes of venues across Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne re-opening, and just in time for summer.

Lion Australia staff based in Sydney, Canberra and Melbourne will get the Heineken-funded vouchers to spend in venues across Australia that pour Heineken; “to treat fellow customers, colleagues, friends or family to a round,” Ms Sneep said. 

“Given the unprecedented circumstances we find ourselves in, we looked at how we can play a part in helping our consumers cope with the current situation, and also specifically at how we can support our on-trade partners to weather the extremely challenging business climate.

“We are so pleased to be able to support our customers in this way to coincide with re-opening and a return to after-work beers.”

Watch the campaign here.

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