37 (132) 2018
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Corporate Social Responsibility

“Check Your BAL” zone – mobile lesson on responsibility

By Małgorzata Walędzińska-Półtorak, sustainable development programme manager at Kompania Piwowarska
Header ma gorzata waledzinska poltorak


More and more people consume alcoholic drinks in a responsible way.

Just as many expect the producers of these beverages to be engaged in activities promoting moderate and responsible consumption of alcohol. Kompania Piwowarska decided to meet those expectations with the use of its Check Your BAL programme (BAL = blood alcohol level). An attractive format, reaching hundreds of thousands of people and, above all, direct contact with customers were the campaign’s key success factors.

Beer is the most popular alcoholic beverage in Poland, and our brands are some of the best selling ones on the market. Therefore, we have a special obligation to prevent irresponsible alcohol consumption. One of our areas of focus is the improvement of road safety in Poland with the use of campaign promoting absolute sobriety behind the wheel. Even though a lot has changed in this area over the years, the problem of drunk drivers is still present. According to statistics provided by the police, in 2017 drunk drivers caused over 2,100 road accidents. Most of them took place over the summer, when traffic is more intense, social meetings take place more often, and there are more concerts and festival usually accompanied by alcohol. And alcohol combined with a carefree attitude is a risky mix – especially when it comes to driving a vehicle.

Summer holidays, music, responsibility

The greatest challenge at the start of the Check Your BAL programme was to reach as many consumers as possible with a clear message: never, drive after drinking alcohol. In the era of the internet and social media, reaching thousands or even millions of people is fairly simple. However, we decided that we wanted to meet consumers face to face. We embarked on a journey across Poland to be where they are – at the most popular summer outdoor events. But we quickly encountered a problem – how to convince the participants of these events to take part in our campaign. How to make them remember about taking a breathalyser test before heading home?

We figured out that the best way to attract attention would be extraordinary animations that require personal engagement and combine fun with gaining knowledge. Designing the Check Your BAL zone, we made sure that our visitors could not only check their sobriety with the use of a professional breathalyser, but also experience as much as possible. That’s why we came up with our alco-goggle challenge, which allows people to wear special glasses that distort vision in the same way excessive amounts of alcohol do.

Equipped with the alco-goggles, our guests discover, to their amazement, that they are not able to complete a simple activity, such as putting a key in a door lock or avoiding an obstacle on their path. The test is meant to be fun, but at the same time it forces people to reflect on the unpleasant consequences of excessive alcohol intake.

From zero to several hundred thousand in four years

Since 2015, when the very first tour was launched, the Check Your BAL zone has visited 42 events in total, during which 230,000 people used a professional breathalyser test to check whether they could drive, and another 70,000 took part in the specially prepared animations.

This year’s season was record-breaking. Over 13 mass events, the zone was visited by over 85,000 people, who took a breathalyser test to check their sobriety. It is over 15% more than last year. And 39.5% of festivalgoers put on our alco-goggles, which beats our 2017 score by 63%!

We believe that the idea of responsible alcohol consumption should be an inseparable part of our everyday life, and that is precisely why we have been encouraging everyone to download our Check Your BAL mobile app, as it allows users to evaluate their blood alcohol level, check information on the permissible concentration, and even order a taxi, if necessary. By December 2017, the Check Your BAL app was downloaded by 309,265 people.

Additionally, as part of our campaign promoting responsible alcohol consumption during mass outdoor events, this season we have trained 557 sales people in terms of effective refusal to sell alcohol to minors or intoxicated people.

Be smart, be eco

Besides campaigns promoting responsible consumption of alcohol, we have also been actively fighting for the environment. We established close cooperation with the organisers of the Woodstock Festival Poland, which this year changed its name to Pol’and’Rock Festival, to encourage festivalgoers to selectively collect waste. The participants of this year’s edition of the event came to our Eco Zone with 9,240 kg of waste, including 1,083 kg of aluminium cans and 1,681 kg of plastic cups. The materials were segregated and then recycled. Four record holders collected 76.3 kg and 69.6 kg of plastic and 101.6 kg and 95.8 kg of cans respectively, and for that received original electric scooters painted in the festival colours.

Our responsibility for the beer we brew also encompasses dealing with the packaging we sell it in. That is why in 2017, together with a packaging recovery organisation – Rekopol, we have been continuing our eco-friendly educational campaign Be Smart.

In a series of funny videos, well-known bloggers shared their own views and talked about why it is important to crush cans, return bottles to shops and throw non-returnable bottles into glass cullet containers (glass that is crushed and ready to be remelted is called cullet). The eco-message of the campaign reached almost half a million people.

Our experiences last year proved that communicating serious topics in a lighhearted and humourous way is a great idea. Be Smart had it all: a positive message that was easy to identify with, the possibility of manifesting a responsible attitude with the use of a cool T-shirt and support of respected bloggers. Because of that, the campaign was very effective and way more successful in educating than threatening with consequences or boring preaching.

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