How LBB drove AB InBev's campaign message of responsible drinking that isn't boring and appealing to millennials

Little Black Book conceptualised and executed the campaign for the alcohol brand to drive awareness around the larger campaign #SmartDrinkingBuddy. The content platform was given the task to amplify its reach, with customer engagement and interaction

BuzzInContent Bureau
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Last year, Little Black Book created a campaign for AB InBev to drive brand awareness and recognition for #SmartDrinkingBuddy, an initiative by the alcohol beverage brand. The objective was to create a conversation about responsible drinking. This campaign tied up with Global Be(er) Responsible Day. The catch was to not make it sound boring.

LBB was given the task to amplify its reach, with customer engagement and interaction as the North Star metric.

“We’ve worked with over 2,000 brands, both small and large scale, on campaigns for LBB over the past two-and-a-half years. What’s most encouraging to see is that brands are finally giving cognisance to the fact that unlike their predecessors, millennials are a different consumer category by themselves — spoilt for choice, constantly inundated with information, and highly attention deficit,” said Suchita Salwan, Founder and CEO LBB (Little Black Book).

The challenge

Messaging around ‘drink responsibly’ isn’t new, and this cause has been taken up by an array of companies, from governmental organisations to car companies and liquor brands, of course. How does one make conversations about this extremely important subject matter relevant, new and fresh for a demographic that’s young and most definitely will not respond to anything that’s patronising.

LBB’s pitch

The platform divided the campaign into two phases — both with elements of video, offline engagement, and a live quiz. With videos, it took the route of Vox-Pop videos, a format that’s been driving incredible engagement organically on LBB. The objective of phase 1 was to set baseline metrics, and gauge user response and feedback; phase 2 was to double down on elements of the campaign that were leading to high reach and customer engagement.

Phase 1: The warm-up

Timeline was September-October 2018 (pre-Diwali). A Vox-Pop video was created and distributed on LBB.

- Innovation: Drive customer engagement via online contest and banner ads on LBB’s web and app.

- Capture total reach of the campaign and total customer engagement across the online activities.

Here’s what was created for AB InBev

Customised videos were created for audiences in Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore (total three videos) that drove local conversations around the theme of #SmartDrinking and #SmartDrinkingBuddy. These videos were amplified on LBB’s web, app and distribution channels.

Phase 1 result

- 6 million impressions.

- An engagement ratio that was +40% higher than average.

Key learnings

1. Localise, localise, localise

The Vox-Pop format works when the output or content created resonates with the context of the end user. Showing an end-user in Bangalore when people in Delhi drink would have led to a loss of context, poor engagement, and therefore poor performance; localising the conversation around drinking responsibly worked wonders for this campaign.

2. Make the message relatable not preachy

The last thing an under 35-year-old wants is to be schooled. Content for info-tainment needs to acknowledge this, and develop a communication strategy that delivers on this. 

Phase 2: The Homerun 


Taking on from the success of Vox-Pop as format, LBB recreated a similar series, but with New Year as a theme. This phase consisted of: 

- Offline activation: Drive footfall to an offline event for #SmartDrinkingBuddy

- Innovation: Live quiz was organised, where the gratification for the quickest person to successfully answer all questions would be given an XBox One S.

Here’s what was created for AB InBev:


There was an offline event for which LBB drove 100% of the registrations and footfall (hit 100% of targets set on both fronts), both of which were collected via LBB’s web and app. The content platform also created a #SmartDrinkersZone offline where it integrated the brand objective with activities like smart drinking games and trivia quiz on smart drinking.

To keep the buzz online, a customised live quiz was created.


Phase 2 results:

  • 1 million impressions in 15 days: a jump of 175% from phase 1.
  • Over 50% higher than targeted sign-ups for the live quiz.
  • Conversion of 78% from signing up for a quiz to participation in the quiz.
  • 1 million+ total video views across Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.
  • Expected video views were surpassed by over 63%.
  • 83% conversion from registration to footfall for event in Bangalore.

Key learnings

Pick your audience and pick your battles

For the quiz component of the campaign, LBB had aligned all teams to chasing simultaneous plays (longer time-spent, better engagement; over high impressions, low conversion) as a metric. On average, a user spent 3.5 minutes engaging with AB InBev, more than they would had it been a pure-play brand video.

Consumers don’t get bored of engaging formats

Exhibit A — Vox Pop as a format. LBB launched this format organically, and the response was absolutely fantastic, which led to pitch this to AB InBev. This format performs (measured by time spent on video, and views to engagement ratio) fantastically well when the theme is relevant and topical.

Re-imagine ads

Traditionally, an ad is thought to be one that explicitly reeks of a brand — this construct needs to be re-looked at, especially in the context of a millennial demographic. Different mediums and platforms see different kinds of ads working, but ones that drive above average conversion are usually the ones that lead with a message than those that lead with a brand.

AB InBev could’ve very well named the campaign “Drink Responsibly” or #GBRD (an abbreviation no one would’ve understood), but by leading the conversation with a narrative and mediums that are #millennialfriendly, LBB was able to work with AB InBev to deliver a high-impact campaign.

 (Disclaimer: The data related to the performance of the campaign has been claimed by the brand/agency/platform/creator. has not verified the authenticity of the data and hence is not responsible for any counterclaim by any other party.)

LBB AB InBev's campaign