With mounting societal pressure to be constantly busy, rapid adoption of new work technology and a global pandemic forcing a complete overhaul of where and when work gets done, workers have increased their average working day by 2.5 hours, according to NordVPN Teams. When added up, all these extra hours are negatively impacting overall employee wellbeing, translating to less time spent with friends and family or pursuing personal hobbies.
HEINEKEN is addressing this growing work life imbalance with The Closer, an outlandish high-tech bottle opener that immediately shuts all work applications when a bottle of Heineken is opened with it. Dramatized in a campaign film as the antidote to the increasing demands of our always-on work culture, The Closer bottle opener itself is a satirical symbol for the power every worker has to close down at the end of the day.
“As a brand, we have always stood for creating moments of shared connections with others,” said Bram Westenbrink, Global Head Heineken Brand at HEINEKEN. “With the once-rigid boundaries between work and personal time rapidly deteriorating following the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to spark a much-needed conversation about the importance of resisting the societal pressures to be in a constant state of busy work and encourage workers around the world to reprioritize social and leisure time with the people who matter most.”
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The Closer bottle opener will be announced at an exclusive launch event reminiscent of iconic tech announcements. A keynote address by Billy Eichner will unveil the only gadget that can help solve a core problem caused by other remote-work enabling technologies. By overemphasizing the necessity of such a high-tech marvel, Eichner will remind us all that everyone already has everything they need to close down right at their fingertips.
Once all the Closer bottle openers are claimed, HEINEKEN will encourage workers in the United States to block their calendars at the end of the day with a Calendar Closer to prevent coworkers from scheduling meetings after working hours.
“As people continue to feel like they have to work all the time, they’re forgetting that disconnecting is even an option,” said Bruno Bertelli, Global Chief Creative Officer of Publicis Worldwide, the lead agency that created the campaign. “That’s why we created The Closer. It’s not just technology; it’s a social provocation to help people see that the pressure to work all the time is getting a little ridiculous and we all have the power to log off and go hang out with our friends again.”
As a business with over 80,000 employees around the world, HEINEKEN has not been immune to the increased demands placed on its vast workforce. An employee wellbeing program was established in 2021 to identify causes of work life imbalance around the world, with a dedicated team responsible for identifying and sharing best practices to address them. This year and beyond, the team plans to host over 1,000 workshops in 80+ countries to find new ways of working to better support the professional, emotional, social and physical wellbeing of all employees. This campaign was created to spark conversation, and for HEINEKEN, it starts by empowering its own employees.
“While work life imbalance is an issue felt around the world, it can’t be solved with just one policy change,” said Yolanda Talamo, Global Head of Human Resources at HEINEKEN. “This high-tech bottle opener is a symbol that acts as a catalyst for change, but the work is ahead of us. We are asking all of our employees to help us identify practical solutions that take into account the cultural nuances in each of the countries we operate in so everyone can enjoy more balance between their work and personal time.”
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