Heineken’s ‘Boring Phone’ helps you socialize like it’s 1997 instead of 2024

Introduced during Milan Design Week, the charmingly retro device was created with U.S. fashion brand Bodega

Published On
Apr 23, 2024
Product shot of The Boring Phone

Editor's Pick

Smartphones really have pretty much ruined society, haven’t they? On the plus side, that gives marketers something to push back against—as Heineken does in a new campaign centered around the creation of a ’90s-era mobile phone.

Armed with various grim statistics—90% of people admit to habitually scrolling on nights out, with 37% believing they check their phones more often than they should—Heineken teamed up with U.S. fashion brand Bodega to create The Boring Phone. The stylish yet bare-bones device limits your digital options so you can focus on connecting with the people around you.

The resurgence of so-called “dumb phones” in the smartphone era has been happening for a while—a decent portion of Gen Z recognizes the extent of the time they’re wasting as well as the deleterious mental health effects of endless scrolling—but this project adds a further cool factor to the notion of digitally disengaging.

 

The Boring Phone’s primary function is to send and receive calls and text messages, though as the video shows, you can also take a few low-res photos and play a silly-looking game called Quick Snake. The device has a transparent casing and holographic stickers that Heineken says “draw inspiration from Gen Z’s love of Newtro fashion.” 

With creative led by agency LePub, The Boring Phone was unveiled at Milan Design Week last Thursday. It was physically produced by European mobile brand Human Mobile Devices (HMD), which is the current maker of Nokia devices. 

Some 5,000 Boring Phones are being produced and will be given away to revelers around the world. Global PR agency The Romans and media agency Dentsu Redstar also worked on the campaign.

Print ad for The Boring Phone

“Heineken has always taken a stand toward the importance of socializing, recognizing the value of genuine connections in a tech-immersed society,” said Bruno Bertelli, global CEO of LePub and chief creative officer of Publicis Worldwide. “The introduction of The Boring Phone isn’t merely about disconnecting from mobiles; it’s about prioritizing authentic interactions. It empowers individuals to reclaim their social lives and foster engagement in every shared moment.” 

Nabil Nasser, global head of Heineken, said many Gen Z and millennial consumers “feel they are habitually distracted when socializing by their device but also admit they didn’t want to go completely phone-free. At Heineken, we want to foster moments of genuine connection and help people experience the joy of true togetherness. In creating The Boring Phone we have gone back to basics, we have dialled down the tech to help people truly connect over a beer, without any distraction from the constant buzzing and dings.”

Credits

Date
Apr 23, 2024
Client :
Heineken
Client :
Bodega
Agency :
Le Pub
Sr. Director Global Brand :
Nabil Nasser
Global Communication Director :
Daniela Iebba
Global Digital Director :
Rob van Griensven
Global Communication Manager :
Guilherme De Marchi Retz
Global Head Digital Consumer Innovation :
Natacha Volpini
Global PR Lead :
Jonathan O'Lone
Global Brand PR Lead :
Joseph Brophy
Global Director Design :
Mark van Iterson
Marketing Director :
Jan Bosselaers
Marketing Manager :
Myrsini Tsoukaki
Brand Manager :
Larissa Koper
Brand Manager :
Elena Bellini
Global CEO :
Bruno Bertelli
Global Chief Creative Officer :
Cristiana Boccassini
Chief Creative Officer :
Mihnea Gheorghiu
Executive Creative Director :
Andrey Tyukavkin
Executive Creative Director :
Eoin Sherry
Regional Executive Creative Director :
Cyril Louis
Head of Art :
Andrea Ferlauto
Creative Director :
Corina Patraucean
Creative Director :
Rainor Marinho
Global Creative Director :
Jack Christensen
Creative Director Art & Technology :
Sergey Mast
Associate Creative Director :
Valentino Borghesi
Associate Creative Director :
Geo Joseph
Associate Creative Director :
Roberto Ardigò
Associate Creative Director :
Rudy Zulkifly
Associate Creative Director :
Yuste De Lucas
Art Director :
Flavia Conti
Copywriter :
Cristina Candido
Art Director :
Alejandro Gutierrez
Copywriter :
Nikolay Malchev
Junior Art Director :
Peter Sjo
Global Head of PR & Communication :
Isabella Cecconi
Senior Digital PR Manager :
Carol Verde
PR Manager :
Eleonora Botta
Global Head of Creative Technology :
Mauro Mazzei
Head of Digital Production :
Vittorio Cafiero
Chief Strategy Officer :
Sol Ghafoor
Culture and Insights Director :
Monica Radulescu
Director of Comms Planning :
Shane Roche
Strategy Director :
Adam Lotz
Global Data Strategy Director Data & Culture :
Ilko Petkov
Group Chief Innovation Officer :
Charles Laporte Aust
Head of Experience and Innovation :
Francois Rousseau
Global Client Service Director :
Shirine Aoun
Global Innovation Client Service Director :
Carmit Poleg
Group Account Director :
Ilaria Castiglioni
Group Account Director :
Luigi Palma
Account Director :
Rossana de Rosa
Senior Project Manager :
Adriana Dinu
Digital Project Manager :
Keefe Cordeiro
Account Executive :
Candida Franchi
Chief Production Officer :
Francesca Zazzera
Head of TV Production :
Anna Sica
Producer :
Matilde Bonanni
Post-Producer :
Sabrina Sanfratello
Art Buyer :
Caterina Collesano
Art Buyer :
Giorgia Bellondi
Production and Print Manager :
Daniela Inglieri
Production and Print Manager :
Tina Paolella
Production Company :
Somesuch
Executive Producer :
Tash Tan
Producer :
Emory Ruegg
Director :
Rollo Jackson
Director of Photography :
Nikita Kuzmenko
Service Company :
Radioaktive Shelter
Editor :
Fabrizio Squeo
Editor :
Enrico Munarini
Color :
Simone Grattarola
Post :
Prodigious
Mix :
Disc2Disc
Photographer :
Domingo Nardulli
Production Agency :
AuraPhoto
Producer :
Valerio Cordioli
Retouch :
MGCR Studio
Retoucher :
Mattia Giani
Pixel Artist :
Cristian Aranda
Global Client Director :
Kate Hinz
Global Strategy Director :
Elio LaGrua
Global Strategy Director :
Ricardo Lopez
Global Planning Director :
Marie Boucaut
Global Strategic Planner :
Laura Gutierrez
Client Director :
Silvia Moroni
Strategy Director :
Silvia Garagnani
Communication Strategist :
Vittoria Fanticini
Leader :
Cristina Profumi
Leader :
Daniela Oppes
Partner :
Sophie Nicholson
Director :
Kate Brazier
Associate Director :
Olivia Bunting
Senior Account Director :
Sophie Lambert-Russell

Need a credit fix? Contact the Creativity Editors

Project Type