Responsible drinking programmes
supported by European spirits producers

• “Champions Drink Responsibly”
COUNTRY European Union
TIMING 2008 > 2012


  • Bacardi Limited


  • To raise awareness of the dangers of drink-driving.
  • To promote safe and responsible consumption.
  • To drive consumer engagement with the issue of responsible drinking. 


  • As commitment to the European Road Safety Charter signed on 4 April 2008, Bacardi Limited launched the global ''Champions Drink Responsibly'' campaign. The project is an integrated communication and engagement campaign that combines multi-stakeholder communications via advertising, consumer engagements, public relations, and digital. 
  • The campaign uses advertising, public relations, consumer experiential initiatives and social media platforms. This also includes a YouTube® channel and a Facebook® page to inform and engage consumers about responsible drinking and their personal choices. More information can be found on the dedicated website
  • Global Social Responsibility Ambassador:
    • Michael Schumacher, faced the campaign until March 2011. He also appeared in an advertising campaign with the message ''When I go for a drink, my car stays at home'', as well as a print campaign featuring different statements including ''A word of advice if you are going out tonight. Taxi''.
    • Raphael Nadal, has faced the campaign since March 2011. Through his professionalism, behaviour and personal values, Rafael Nadal is an aspirational role model for legal drinking age (LDA) consumers around the world. His involvement has enabled "Champions Drink Responsibly" to communicate its important message on responsible drinking to LDA consumers. He appears in advertising with the messages "I try to beat everyone at tennis not at drinking" and "I'd always tell my friends where the line is".
    • In 2014 the first local Ambassador was appointed in Australia (Joel Parkinson).
  • History:
    • In 2008 consumers could enter a competition for a chance to win a driving session with Michael Shumacher at the Ascari circuit in Spain and exclusive lesson in mixing alcohol free drinks.
    • In June 2009 Michael Schumacher appeared on the BBC Top Gear where a 'simulation' video was aired, showing how Michael's driving would be impaired if he had drank. The video was also posted on You Tube and other sites.
    • In November 2009, the "Mixology Drinking & Driving Don't Mix" viral film was launched. Barman, Salvatore Calabrese, was challenged to make a drink in the passenger seat of a car whilst being driven by Michael Schumacher. Salvatore failed to make the drink, thus showing that "drinking and driving don't mix".
    • In November 2011, a Facebook virtual reality game was lauched called "Ace Rafa". Consumers were invited to play a match against the tennis champ using RoboServ3000, a 12-foot tall robot, for a chance to win the grand prize to meet Rafa and battle him toe-to-toe on the court in Mallorca, Spain in 2012.  
    • 2013 "Mocktails": Taking a break from alcoholic drinks during an evening is a good way for consumers to pace themselves during an evening out. The Mocktails show that responsible drinking does not mean that you need to drink soft drinks or water all evening.  Mocktails are a more exciting alternative. Through a mix of recipe cards and tips about how to incorporate Mocktails into a night out, a stream of content was developed to provide a refreshing alternative to drinking alcohol.  Recipe's for mocktails can also be found on the dedicated mockail website.
    • 2013 global online competition: the competition focused more on social occasions and less explicitly on tennis. “Mix with Rafa” was created to enable consumers to win a place at a house party hosted by Rafa. The promotion was launched in February 2013 and closed in mid-April, with the final event –meeting Rafa in person held in July 2013.
    • 2013 new app: To support the “T-Sign” a Facebook app was developed in March 2013.  It encourages fans to show that they have the qualities of a Champion through their own “T-Sign” images. 


  • 2008-2011: The campaign was reported by the traditional media in at least 32 countries worldwide reaching over 37 million people.  The Ascari event which took place in May 2009 generated more than 25,000 entries to the competition and 28 winners were selected.  The campaign's success was recognised with an award at the European Excellence Awards ceremony in December 2008 where it won Best International Communications Programme for Social Responsibility in 2008 and in October 2009, it was awarded Corporate Social Responsibility Campaign of the Year at the Public Relations Consultants Association Awards 2009.  The Top Gear show which featured Michael Schumacher was seen by 7.3 million on TV in the UK, with a potential to reach 450 million through exports by the BBC, the most read story on BBC.co.uk/news that week, the most downloaded show on BBC iplayer that week and the most viewed video on YouTube that week with over 1.8 million hits in a week. 
  • 2012: Over 970,000 people in Europe engaged with the Ace Rafa promotion and over 9,000 people in Europe entered the promotion. The campaign reached over 230,000 European consumers on Facebook alone.  19 markets in Europe (Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Germany, Denmark, Estonia, Spain, Finland, Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Portugal, Romania, Sweden) supported the promotion. 20 winners and a friend were selected as winners and attended the live Ace Rafa event in Mallorca in July 2012. Of these 20 winners, 7 were from EU member states. More than 230,000 Facebook likes / fans were achieved in the EU, an increase of 185,000 in the year. Visits to the website increased by over 18,000 in the year - up to 54,000 at the end of the year. 
  • Online: Virals on youtube have been seen more than 1,000,000 times and the Facebook page has over 1,000,000 "likes" (until December 2012) and the website has attracted around 250,000 hits since its launch (until December 2009).
  • So far it has been launched in the following EU Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain and the United Kingdom.
  • See also individual impact statistics in country reports.


  • Global consumer survey in 2009 showed:
    • 79.4% understood the core campaign message: ''drinking and driving don't mix''.
    • 96.5% agreed it was an important campaign to be communicated.
    • 99.9% approved of Michael Schumacher as campaign ambassador.
  • Examples of consumer comments:
    • I think it's great to see a company involved in alcohol to take a positive step to drink driving.
    • Bacardi understands and takes seriously its social responsibilities.
    • Fantastic not for profit viral from Bacardi / This should have been produced by "Securite Routiere" (French Road Safety Institute) / Also it is very premium in style".
  • For specific country evaluations see country reports.
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