This came to us as a sponsored post, but I have to admit the Heineken Experiment fascinates me. The Experiment Heineken ran looked at human behavior, the reaction of people to different DJs, and — best of all — had a result that is actually BAD for Heineken’s bottom line. Seriously! Here’s a rundown of The Experiment and the video showing the results.
Here’s what Heineken did.
They took the same club and looked at it over the course of two nights. They allowed the same number of people into the club on both nights. The only variable was the DJ. The first night the DJ was decent. The second night the DJ was… Armin Van Buuren. (I’m a fan, so that alone piqued my interest!) The goal was to see what, if any, impact the “interest” created by the DJ had on people’s drinking behaviors. How did the DJ and the way they engaged the crowd impact the drinking over the two nights?
The first night the DJ was okay, and people drank to fill in the “interest gaps” created by him not being “amazing”.
The second night Armin, identity hidden, was the DJ. The crowd was immediately more energized, and that only continued as the evening unfolded. At the end Armin revealed his identity, and the crowd went wild. The experiment, however, was over, and the results were in.
So the night Armin was the DJ, the crowd danced more and, as a result, drank less. … a lot less. It seems the more the DJ involved the crowd the less time they had to drink.
Armin van Buuren says, “When I play a DJ set to thousands of music lovers, I want them to enjoy the moment, to remember it after the night has finished. This means consuming alcohol in moderation, so that the moment is not lost. The reason I have partnered with Heineken on ‘Dance More Drink Slow’ is because we have a fantastic opportunity, and responsibility, to connect better with our audience and affect behavior change. Drinking responsibly is an important issue and being able to use music, specifically the “Save my Night” track, to innovatively deliver that message directly to fans on the dance floor is unique.” Use #DMDS to spread the word.
While this would seem to play against Heineken’s best interest (after all they want people to buy and enjoy their products), they are the ones who ran and are sharing it. It seems they understand that a good time is a good time, and whether over 1000 drinks are served (as they were the first night) or under 700 are served (as they were on the second), Heineken wants to be part of it.
Personally I would love to see them repeat both parts of the experiment a dozens times in order to remove other variables that we might not be considering. Regardless, it is rather interesting to see how the DJ can possibly impact a crowd’s drinking. And it suggests that clubs inviting Armin Van Buuren in as the DJ might want to consider charging a cover and a two drink minimum.