Heineken has announced it has commissioned a team of global experts in Nudge Theory and Behavioural Design from Denmark to help tackle drink-driving in New Zealand.

The study (led by Krukow Behavior Design) will run through 2021, using a behavioural design approach to try to influence the decision-making process that Kiwis go through when presented with situations where they may drink and drive.

The idea is to find ways to ‘nudge’ them to make the right decision, which is to not drink when driving. 

Nudge theory is based on the premise that 90% of human decision-making is automatically controlled by instincts and surroundings in the moment of choice, with only 10% of human decision-making consciously controlled by knowledge and education.

The Heineken ‘When You Drive Never Drink NZ’ study will explore a common scenario where New Zealanders may drink and drive.

This scenario has been chosen based on consultation with Waka Kotahi NZ Transport Agency, and the behavioural scientists will follow this journey throughout the day to look to ‘hack’ the unconscious decision making process and ensure that if people are driving, they don’t drink alcohol.

The first stage of the study is to map the journeys and interventions that will help prevent drinking and driving, which Heineken will then implement during 2021.

In similar projects in other countries, interventions have involved changing the colour of roads, moving signs to unexpected places (like the ground) and finding interesting new ways to provide simple messages at key decision-making moments in a person’s day.

Peter Simons, Managing Director of DB Breweries, says that this behavioural design approach is an exciting new build on Heineken’s long-standing ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ programme that hopes to make measurable change in drink driving behaviour.

“Heineken is strongly committed to leading the responsible consumption of alcohol across the globe and the ‘When You Drive, Never Drink’ programme is a key step in the mission to reduce drink driving behaviour,” he says.

To kick-off the behavioural design interventions and reinforce the message not to drink and drive, Heineken has launched a new campaign urging drivers not to drink Heineken.

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