Carnival in Rio de Janeiro is one of the world’s largest public celebrations, featuring nearly 2 million costumed party goers, an extravagant parade, and of course, lots of alcohol consumption. The creatives behind Ambev’s Antarctica Beer saw an opportunity, and installed custom turnstiles during the event that allow people to “pay” with an empty beer can. Not only did this encourage over 1,000 people per hour to use public transit (instead of getting behind the wheel), it also helped a recycling NGO, to which all of the cans were donated. How cool would it be if all public transit could be paid for with recyclables?
The results of this marketing and social responsibility campaign show that the concept really captured the attention Antarctica Beer was looking for. Traffic through the Beer Turnstiles was 86 percent higher than conventional turnstiles during the same hours. Drunk driving offences also went down 43 percent.
Antarctica Beer worked with marketing agency AlmapBBDO to create the Beer Turnstile and to perfect the technology of allowing entrance with an empty can. Each turnstile has a bar code reader that recognizes the can and causes the gate to open. The cans could then be dropped into an opening in the base of the turnstile, where they were collected for donation to a recycling NGO.