The Heineken ‘Zer0.0 Contact Bar’ is now open in Darlinghurst in Sydney. Staffed by a conveyor belt and some robotic arms, the bar only serves the company's 0.0 brand of non-alcoholic brew, and it's only open to one person at a time due to distancing restrictions.
It sounds like just about the most depressing "brand new drinking experience" Ad Nut can imagine, and the fact that the robots are called Heidi and Ken is no help. Ad Nut will stick to drinking more potent stuff at home, either alone or on sloppy Zoom calls, thank you very much.
The brand claims the bar is a response to COVID-19 restrictions, but Ad Nut suspects it's an activation that was planned earlier but then had to be repurposed and respun for today's reality. Why would you need two robotic arms to serve one person at a time? If the original, pre-COVID plan was for the two robots to hand out samples in a crowded area, Ad Nut could see it being fun. But this, like so much of the current situation, just sucks.
We already know we're living in a dystopia. We don't need a demoralising popup experience to accentuate it.
The robotic arms were programmed by students and engineers from the University of Sydney, who appear to have done a fine job. Momentum Worldwide and Red Havas are the agencies involved.
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