Nikita Mishra
Apr 26, 2023

From swabs to sips, Hoegaarden flips the script on Covid booths in China

INSPIRATION STATION: McCann Shanghai pulls a charming and timely experiential campaign. We're toasting to their creativity and innovation.

The campaign theme “Take a sip of sweetness and enjoy the Belgian spring” highlights Hoegaarden's three new fruit flavors. Photo: McCann Shanghai
The campaign theme “Take a sip of sweetness and enjoy the Belgian spring” highlights Hoegaarden's three new fruit flavors. Photo: McCann Shanghai

More than three years of shutdowns, a massive Covid wave, an estimated million deaths, abrupt freedom and growing public outrage—till a few months back, China’s zero-Covid decree and its citizens’ ordeal was the stuff of a global nightmare. No country was spared from the ravages of Covid, but none suffered the trials and tribulations like China.

For long, Shanghai citizens queued up outside testing booths to take PCR tests in what looked like an endless season of chaos and casualties. But now, as the country blooms back to life, almost seamlessly transitioning from a blustery, isolating winter to a beautiful spring marked by a palpable sense of relief and optimism, these booths have been given a new lease of life. Hoegaarden and agency partner McCann Shanghai have transformed six testing booths in the city to beer-tasting stations, “Tuinen Van Hoegaarden.” They are offering free fruit beer and flowers to passers-by as part of its effort to help the city celebrate its first spring since the pandemic.

How Chu, the ECD of McCann Shanghai, who helmed the revamp of swab-testing booths, remarked, "The pandemic stole our social gatherings, our laughter; however, humans are optimistic animals. It’s a relief that we have finally defeated Covid-19.”

From a design point of view, the booths are charming with the whimsical wildflowers and the Belgian poppy set against Hoegaarden’s pretty, fruity concoctions. Passers-by greeted with new flavours of fruit beer and a blooming bud is another nice touch. But the true inspiration lies in the concept, flipping the script on gloom and doom with a play on seasons to tell the citizens that spring has truly sprung. That, is beautiful. Cheers to that!

You've arrived at Inspiration Station, a weekly look at imaginative and artistic work from creators of all kinds across Asia-Pacific. Step off for a minute to recharge your creative batteries and find inspiration for that next big idea of yours further down the track.


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