Bergenbier campaign launch_2

According to traffic police estimates, one in ten serious road accidents is due to driving under the influence. Given that for many Romanians “a beer” is still an acceptable legal limit, Bergenbier SA, one of the leading brewers in Romania, wanted to launch a campaign to raise awareness of the risks of drunk driving and to support its reputation as a responsible company that is also involved in the community.

Both traffic police statistics and interviews with their representatives led us to conclude that a critical segment of road accidents caused by drunk driving involved young people. But the main challenge was precisely to convince youngsters, who are rather attracted to entertainment and socialization, and who reject negative or shocking messages.

The central idea of the campaign was to give congratulations and public recognition to responsible young people who do not consume alcohol when driving and most often assume the duty of taking their friends home. This is how “A friend in need… is a friend at the wheel” was born, a campaign with a memorable title, paraphrasing a famous saying (“A friend in need is a friend indeed”), which is also a play on one of the best-known Romanian commercial slogans, of one of the most beloved brands in the company’s portfolio: Bergenbier – “Friends know why.”


The first step was an online research into young Romanians’ life. We learned that they have an active social life (60% go out at least once a month), half of them drink alcohol on these occasions and more than half found themselves in a car with a driver who had consumed alcohol. We also found that two in five young people turn to a “friend at the wheel” if they consumed alcohol.

The campaign was launched in partnership with the traffic police, by forming special patrols whose role was to congratulate and reward responsible drivers who were driving their friends home. We thus replaced a stressful event in the life of any driver with an opportunity for taking pride and accepting reward. In clubs and pubs, the role of patrols was to identify the designated driver in the groups of clients and reward them, but not before their friends had the opportunity to write, with the help of a mobile application, an ode to the “friend at the wheel”. The application became popular on Facebook, with more than 2,000 young people dedicating “odes” to their driver friends.

Key Results

  • Over 60 minutes of TV news reports, 100 articles in print and online, with a cumulated audience of 3,945,904 people;
  • Over 2,000 young people have dedicated odes to their friends in just 30 days, with the help of the Facebook application;
  • Thousands of young people were rewarded, in clubs or at police traffic stops;
  • The success of the first stage of the campaign, that only took place in Bucharest, prompted Bergenbier SA to extend its partnership with the traffic police to take the campaign at a national level.