ITV and Scenario UK helped Heineken 0.0 steal the limelight with a leading role in a content partnership, putting them into the nation’s two most-beloved pubs.

Together we sparked a conversation about alcohol-free beer, addressing the stigma of alcohol-free beer head on, and convincing Brits that a pint of alcohol free beer in the pub is totally acceptable

Heineken launched its 0.0 draught beer in a handful of UK pubs in 2021, with the ambition of having as many 0.0 taps as there are Heineken Original over the next few years. This mission to normalise alcohol-free choices drove their ambition to become the market leading brand.

But with Brits’ well-known for their love of a pint, could we challenge people’s perceptions that an alcohol-free pint is just as good?

So, as Heineken rolled out 0.0 pumps nationally, they approached ITV to help drive acceptance by taking its exciting new brand into the mainstream.


The big idea 

ITV soaps like Coronation St and Emmerdale don’t just reflect change in culture - they drive it. The more audiences see characters they love adopting new behaviours, the more familiar new ideas and concepts will feel to viewers too.

Across 2022 and 2023, we would deliver an epic media first, by installing Heineken 0.0 pumps in The Rovers Return and The Woolpack.

At the heart of each soap sit two special pubs, where everyday characters drink every day. ‘Visited’ by over 10.4m people a week, a presence in both soaps would give Heineken 0.0 a shortcut into mainstream popular culture.




Making it happen

Due to historic broadcast regulations, only fictitious beer brands could ever be served in Emmerdale and Corrie. So, we’d need ingenuity and a little Dutch courage to remain compliant. 

Recognising the uniqueness of the opportunity, and with the support of their global business, Heineken agreed to redesign their pumps so that the 0.0 was the dominant message and not the Heineken logo, for compliance approval. Their bravery, and the product’s alcohol-free USP, meant 0.0 would become the first ever real-life beer brand to be served in our 2 legendary pubs.

From day one the pumps had a huge amount of in-show / on-camera presence: both The Rovers and The Woolpack are central to our Soaps’ biggest storylines. Plus, there’s natural on-screen prominence, with many scenes playing directly at the bar by the pumps.

Characters who’d previously been partial to a tipple were opting for an alcohol-free alternative. The integration was so organic that ordering a pint of 0.0 quickly became part of the show vernacular: “A pint of Zero please Chaz!”

“Such great news! Not only normalising 0.0 beers but making them readily available. Well done!” Baroness Dianne Hayter, Chair, Commission on Alcohol Harm

The results

The first year of the partnership delivered over 8 hours of branded visual and verbal references: an equivalent media value of over 8.5 times the predicted delivery. The partnership also drove uplifts against all of Heineken’s key ‘NoLo’ metrics, including:

  • 75% of viewers now think ordering non-alcoholic beer is normal

  • Normalising the category up 24%



We’re totally committed to bringing no and low alcohol beer into the mainstream. The data shows the partnership is having real impact. That collective mind-shift is happening. Emmerdale and Coronation Street have huge cultural currency - people are seeing their favourite characters order pints of 0.0 and it’s making it permissible for them in their real lives. James Crampton, corporate affairs director, Heineken UK

Keep up to date

Keeping up to date with the latest insights and inspiration from ITV Commercial is easy

Stay in the loop