Anheuser-Busch InBev’s APAC unit launched the 12th iteration of its “Smart Drinking Campaign,” a corporate social responsibility program meant to promote public awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving. This year, for the first time in the campaign’s history, AB InBev created a non-alcoholic beer via its Chinese brand, Harbin Beer.

Building on the success of previous smart drinking campaigns aimed at reducing the amount of alcohol-related casualties, the brewer launched this campaign to better appeal to China’s rising Gen Z population. The company chose Harbin Beer for its popularity among young consumers in China, and plans to have non-alcoholic offerings account for a minimum of 20 percent of all its sales by 2025. 

AB InBev will sell the new product, which comes in a palace-themed gift pack, via ecommerce platforms, the sales of which will go toward the Ministry of Public Security’s underage traffic education program. Together with Harbin Beer, AB InBev designed a palace-themed safety education box to help children and teenagers learn traffic safety in a fun way.

To further capture Gen Z’s attention, AB InBev co-produced an animated video spot that features a newly created virtual character and traditional Chinese cultural elements loved by Gen Z, which includes hip hop, period drama and palace themes. In 2018, virtual, or holographic, idols emerged in China’s entertainment industry, and its AB InBev’s hope that its virtual character from the campaign will play a large role in promoting the non-alcoholic beverage.

AB InBev has partnered with China Guangfa Bank to activate experiential school campus pop-ups in 100 different cities and more than 20 universities to educate young adults reaching legal drinking age, according to Jan Craps, zone president and chief executive officer of AB InBev. Additionally, AB InBev is teaming up with car-hailing app DIDA Chuxing on activations to help stop drunk driving.

On the campaign’s launch day, more than 10,000 AB InBev China employees visited restaurants to call on consumers to observe smart drinking.