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The Dream Island Experience

Heineken Encourages You to “Don’t Let Your Dreams Die”

— March 27, 2015 — Marketing
At one time or another, most of us have probably dreamt about what we’d love to do, become or accomplish in life if we just had the means. Those dreams, like becoming an astronaut or simply starting your own business are often dismissed or replaced by more realistic responsibilities that come with adulthood. But why do those dreams have to die? Seeking to reignite lost dreams and connect people with their forgotten aspirations, Heineken has created a campaign to help a few unsuspecting consumers realize their full potential and get their dreams back on track. And that’s exactly what you’ll see unfold in Heineken’s latest video campaign.

While most dreams often don’t leave the bar, Heineken used their Dream Island hook video as a recruitment tool to ask consumers to share their own dreams with them, and took that search into different regions across the globe including Indonesia, Brazil, Argentina, Netherlands and Italy. From Skype submissions to Instagram posts and face-to-face conversations in bars, the Heineken team talked to thousands of consumers from different cultures to get their stories about what their personal dreams were. That search ultimately yielded 6 winners who interestingly enough shared very similar stories. Those stories included dreams of opening up a bar in an exotic location, sailing around the world and pursuing a career as a musician.

To make this experience that much more special, particularly for those involved, Heineken kept everything about this experience very hush hush, and only told the winners that they had won a dream vacation to one of the most beautiful places in the world, Krabi, Thailand. Essentially, this trip would be a week full of surprises. Getting the exclusive on all the events to unfold, Trend Hunter was given the opportunity to travel to Thailand for a behind-the-scenes access to all the surprises that Heineken had in store, and boy, we were not disappointed.

For the first few days of their stay in Krabi, the winners and their guests spent their time on adventurous boat outings, beach excursions and plentiful activities at the resort. Unbeknown to them, the Heineken team had much more surprises in store, surprises that would definitely tug at a few heart strings. One-by-one, each of the winners were individually taken to different locations within the Krabi area. Each one of those surprise locations represented one of the three dreams that each of the consumers aspired to achieve. With the use of hidden cameras and GoPros, Heineken captured each of the consumers’ reaction as they began to see everything that they had described in their dreams. Each setting, which included a boat propped up on a beach, a stage with instruments and a beach bar, was built and customized to match each consumer specifically. One of the most heart-warming scenes was when one of the winners, Sabino, saw his name engraved into a beach bar sign.

Now, while Heineken could have easily just given each winner their dream on a platter, life doesn’t really work like that, and in order to achieve your own dream, you have to work at it. That’s why Heineken presented each winner with a rundown and wrecked version of their dream. “Don’t let your dreams die” was the main focal point to be found within each one of those special set-ups, and that’s exactly what Heineken wanted those involved to do.

The winners were given the chance to work on these dreams to bring them back to life again. That included painting and restoring the wrecked beach bar, bringing supplies in for the sailboat and even practicing with fellow musicians for a potential performance. After putting in time and effort to restore these forgotten dreams, the winners were able to live them out and experience what it’s like for dreams to actually come true. That meant being able to sail away into the sunset, opening up a bar to the public and even playing a live concert on the beach. And you know that catchy tune you hear playing throughout the video? That song was actually written by German, one of the winners whose dream was to be a rockstar.

The real prize here was not simply a trip to Thailand, which in and of itself was truly an amazing experience for those involved. The heart of this campaign was to realize that you can follow your dreams, and it’s entirely up to you whether you choose to pursue it or not. For people like Sabino, who works on trains, and German, who happens to be a Biochemist, never once did it cross their minds that they could have the chance to live out their dreams. But through this one-of-a-kind experience, Heineken was able to offer these winners a taste of what it’s like to follow their aspirations, and through hard work and dedication anyone, even those watching and reading about this at home, can indeed take it upon themselves to live out what they’ve always wanted to do.

Photo Credit: Danny Zappa, Photographer (discover on @dannyzappa)

Credits to: Heineken Communication Manager, Global Commerce: Dario Gargiulo | Agency: Publicis Italia for Heineken