Action on influencing social norm

By Li Jieyi Source:Global Times Published: 2018/9/13 19:53:40

Anheuser-Busch InBev advocates ‘Don’t Drink and Drive’ among young adults

The brewer advocates "Smart Drinking, Don't Drink and Drive" among young adults in China. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev

Zhang Yishan (left) and Frank Wang, AB InBev APAC North's Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs, talk about Your Future Self on stage. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev

Jean Jereissati, Zone President of AB InBev APAC North, gives a speech and introduces the "Smart Drinking, Don't Drink and Drive" campaign to the audience. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev


The red suitcase - Magic Box, which is filled with teaching aids, will be provided to children from the rural regions of China. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev


Cui Yanfei (second from right), Tu Ti (second from left), along with Zhang Yishan (third from right) discuss their memories of turning 18 and other teenager topics. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev

A pop-up lost & found museum appears on scene. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev


After the debut of Your Future Self, Smart Drinking Ambassador Zhang Yishan (third from right), Frank Wang, the Vice President of Legal and Corporate Affairs, APAC North (third from left) and Matt Che, the Vice President of Marketing, APAC North (second from left), hold a banner to celebrate the success of the premiere. Photo: Courtesy of AB InBev

In a white T-shirt and ice-blue jeans, Zhang Yishan, a young actor in China, stepped on to the stage to advocate anti-drunk driving among young adults. The occasion was the debut of a short film, Your Future Self (2018). The words on his T-shirt state the purpose of the occasion: Don't drink and drive.

Hi! Young adults

Cui Yanfei, 18, a student at Tsinghua University along with Zhang Yishan and four other guests stepped on stage and discussed their memories of turning 18 and other teenager topics. Cui said the first thing he wanted to do when he turned 18 was to apply for a driver's license.

Tu Ti agrees. She is a student at Minzu University of China and her hometown is the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, which spans over 1.67 million square kilometers (640,000 square miles) in northwest China.

"Xinjiang is such a large administrative division in China steeping in beautiful natural scenery. But the distances between cities are quite long. So, I desired to obtain my own [driver's] license and enjoy road trips with my friends," she said.

The shortest distance from Ürümqi, the capital of Xinjiang, to one of the other cities in Xinjiang, Changji, is about 35 kilometers.

This year marks the first Millennials of Gen Z who are starting to embrace their adulthood and life on a university campus. Sitting on a red upholstered chair on stage, Zhang shared his story about turning 18 with the audience. He said when he reached adulthood at the age of 18, the top priority was to drink with his friends and experience a buzz.

"Teenagers in general are curious to try everything fresh in the adult world, but they cannot do that before the age of 18," Zhang said.

His mentality was similar to the one he displayed in the latest promotional video named Your Future Self. In the video, Zhang played the role of an 18-year-old young adult.

Waiting for you in the future

The story takes place in 2018, when a young adult (played by Zhang Yishan), who has just had a beer party to celebrate his 18th birthday with friends, stumbles towards his car with car keys dangling between his fingers. The very moment he unlocks the car, a mysterious man with black clothes snatches the keys from his hands within a spilt second and runs away. In order to get the key, Zhang runs as fast as he can to catch up to the man. Then he finds himself alone with the man time-traveling into the future.

During his adventure, he experiences many interesting and beautiful moments with different people: His college basketball team wins an important game because of his game-winning buzzer beater in 2021; He falls in love with a girl at first sight in the year 2025. When he and the mysterious man return back to his present-day life and the man returns the car keys, he soon realizes that the man is his future-self whose mission is to stop him from drinking and driving.

He realizes that treasuring one's life is the precondition of owning a bright future for young adults. The message is clear: People have to take more responsibilities now, in the present, otherwise they risk losing possibilities for their future.

After watching this video, which he played both the role of the young adult and the man in black clothes, Zhang said that "it's a good choice for us to put down our car keys before drinking and we should remember 'don't drink and drive', otherwise we won't be able to embrace our fascinating futures."

Young adults and smart drinking choices

The Smart Drinking campaign which was developed by Anheuser-Busch InBev (AB InBev), one of the world's largest brewers by sales, is entering a new stage. The charity program, first launched by the brewer in 2008, aims at helping consumers make smart choices about drinking and reducing drunk driving on China's roads. This year, they have chosen to focus on young adults.

Harbin Beer, a brand owned by AB InBev has been involved in this year's campaign due to its popularity among young Chinese consumers. During the public event, Your Future Self premiered to audiences all over the world.

When Metropolitan asked why they chose Zhang Yishan as the leading actor and charity ambassador, Jean Jereissati, the Zone President in charge of the APAC (Asia Pacific) North of AB InBev, said that he sees Zhang as an experienced young actor who has a positive attitude towards charity causes.

The legal age to consume alcohol and obtain a driver's license in China is 18 years old.

"The first lesson for young adults is to learn how to take responsibility as members of society and be smart drinkers. This is a good campaign for us to welcome this new generation," said Jereissati.

Considering the message of this year's campaign, AB InBev hopes that Zhang Yishan could play a positive role among younger generations.

"Zhang is such a prominent new-generation star and fits the character so well. I believe that he can catch a lot of attention from those young adults," said Jereissati.

Down to teenagers

Many things can take the lives of kids and young adults. Drunk driving is one of them. By 2020, the brewer wants to pay more attention to road safety among teenagers, especially the teens who live in rural regions, known as the left-behind children in China. In many cases, parents of those children leave to work in urban areas while their children remain in rural regions. For those kids and teenagers, it is difficult to have access to basic road safety education.

In order to raise the awareness of safety among them, AB InBev introduced Magic Box, a red suitcase which is filled with different kinds of teaching materials to the rural regions of China.

In addition to Magic box, a project named City Pilot has been playing a critical role in the campaign. According to a Global Times's report, AB InBev has chosen nine cities around the globe as pilot cities to implement its project to enforce drinking responsibly. Jiangshan, Zhejiang Province was chosen as one of those nine cites on November, 2016. The project aims to raise smart drinking awareness and reduce harmful use of alcohol. The brewer claims that they've seen big changes in people's awareness around the city and by 2020, hopes to see harmful use of alcohol down 10%.

Jereissati prefers to see these positive changes as a fruitful combination.

"We have partnered with governments, associations and universities so it is possible for us to do a concentrated effort. On top of that, we can keep talking with citizens and help raise smart drinking awareness. Consistency is the most important thing for the campaign," said Jereissati.

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