Heineken is putting Canadians’ holiday traditions on digital billboards

Who: Molson Coors Canada (Heineken brand), with Publicis Toronto for creative, SDI for experiential, Wavemaker for media and Citizen Relations for PR.

What: “Tell Us Your Tradition,” a holiday campaign inviting people to submit photos of their traditions—even the ones the thought they’d never miss—for a chance to have them used in outdoor ads for the brand.

When & Where: The campaign is mostly playing out on digital billboards at Yonge-Dundas Square through December, although Heineken has an extensive holiday marketing campaign that includes TV, social, and online video, as well as out-of-home buys in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.

Why: Heineken describes it as a celebration of in-person get togethers after the pandemic, and the seemingly imperfect parts of the holidays that we’ve missed over the past two years—from rough-around-the-edges wrapping, to being a not-so-secret Santa.

How: Heineken launched the “Tell Us Your Tradition” program with an in-person event at which photos of attendees enjoying a complementary Heineken or Heineken 0.0 were uploaded to the digital boards surrounding Yonge-Dundas Square.

The brand is now inviting Canadians to visit HeinekenTraditions.ca and take a selfie that outlines a holiday tradition, like being the first to wake on Christmas morning or baking a mess. Those photos are then set against a Heineken-themed background featuring a “cheers” to their tradition, and can be uploaded to social using the hashtag #PerfectlyImperfectTradition and tagging Heineken for a chance to have their photo displayed on the Yonge-Dundas Square boards.

And we quote: “Apart from our unique use of technology, we wanted to create a fun idea that brings Canadians together and help them share their holiday excitement,” said Joanna Monteiro, chief creative officer of Publicis Toronto, in a release. “We loved how Canadians got very creative with their own ads, one couple even celebrated their upcoming baby’s ultrasound using our holiday billboards!”

Chris Powell