Dialling up nights out: Heineken launches the dumb phone

Heineken and US fashion brand Bodega want us to stop scrolling and start living. Together they have launched a limited run of “dumb” phones, with reduced tech capabilities, to help people enjoy an old school night out.

For people who don’t manage to get their hands on one of the devices, an app will launch that turns your smartphone into a dumb phone. The campaign comes off the back of some depressing research that reveals just how much time Gen Z and millennials spend scrolling during a night out with friends.

Nabil Nasser, the global head of Heineken, says: “We want to foster moments of genuine connection and help people experience the joy of true togetherness. In creating The Boring Phone we have gone back to basics, we have dialled down the tech to help people truly connect over a beer, without any distraction from the constant buzzing and dings.”

Bruno Bertelli, global CEO LePub and CCO Publicis Worldwide says, “The introduction of The Boring Phone isn’t merely about disconnecting from mobiles; it’s about prioritising authentic interactions. By creatively leveraging the resurgence of Y2K aesthetics and the pixelated style, the campaign brings back the appeal of dumb phones. Merging nostalgia and innovation, while embracing screen-free moments.”

Le Pub has caught the zeitgeist: dumb phone sales are on the rise and UK parents are campaigning to get smart phones banned for under 16s. The ads are pretty good at telling the story too.

MAA creative scale: 7.5


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