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Heineken Asks Travelers to Risk a Random Trip with “Departure Roulette”

What would go perfectly with a nice, cold Heineken? How about some spontaneous international travel?

Heineken, at least, seems to support this association: they set up "departure roulette" at JFK’s Terminal 8 and asked travelers if they’d "drop everything" on a dime by pressing a button that would assign a new destination at random. Travelers would be flown, free of charge and right on the spot, to their various mysterious locations, thus canceling their original trip in one fell swoop.

Sounds dreamy, right? Perhaps not surprisingly, many travelers declined, citing various grown-up responsibilities (work, family, et al.) for keeping them rooted to their itinerary—but a few adventurous spirits did take the chance.

In the video we meet a rugged young man who must uncomfortably inform his incredulous mother that he won’t, in fact, be flying home—he’s got a trip to Cyprus.

Then there’s the enthusiastic older man in a jelly bean hat exclaiming in a New York accent about how he’s "gonna push the button" as his wife tugs him toward the gate yelling, "I wanna go home!"

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The rest of the video sees a few more willing participants bound for Cyprus, Laos, Portugal, and Thailand. Airfare and accommodation were comped, and they also got $2,000 from Heineken to cover extra costs. But Heineken thinks the key is in the journey, not the destination—the stunt came as part of their recent Legends global marketing push, which carries the tagline "Open your world" and turns on the themes of international travel and spontaneous decisions (the latter of which do often come as a result of a few cold beers).

According to the ad brains behind the campaign, the new Heineken drinker is "a man of the world" who knows his way around. The campaign’s digital initiatives center on young men who are sent to far-flung destinations to film their adventures.

"What would you do?" Heineken asks in the campaign—and one guy did something pretty drastic by volunteering to be dropped randomly in the Alaskan tundra for Heineken’s fifth installment in the advertising series. Check out that video, and the rest of the episodes, on Heineken’s YouTube channel.

So, we have to ask…would you do it?

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