2020 Brand Experience & Activation


Short List
Category G04. Social Behaviour
Name Company Position
Diane Delen FedCafé Chariman - Managing Director
Karen Corrigan Happiness / An FCB alliance Executive Creative Management
Fred Levron FCB Global Worldwide Creative Partner
Geoffrey Hantson Happiness / An FCB alliance Chief Creative Officer
Katrien Bottez Happiness / An FCB alliance Creative Director
Roxane Schneider Happiness / An FCB alliance Concept Provider
Pieter Claeys Happiness / An FCB alliance Concept Provider
Arthur De Wachter Happiness / An FCB alliance Agency Producer
Bart Vande Maele Happiness / An FCB alliance Head of Production
Remke Faber Happiness / An FCB alliance Head of Motion
Simon Schuurman Happiness / An FCB alliance Motion Designer
Dries Lauwers Happiness / An FCB alliance Head of Design
Kris Van Wallendael Happiness / An FCB alliance Digital Project Manager
Thomas Colliers BLISS Interactive Head of Technology

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation?

Helpy our is the prove of the viral power of activation. With only a 2.500 euro investment, and 75% of all Belgian bars participating, Helpy Hour underlines the power of community support in times of crisis.


In Belgium, just like in many other countries, because of the forced closure early March 2020, bars and restaurants were forced to close for numerous months due to government restrictions. For the majority of bars and restaurants, so often a cornerstone of the community, their precarious financial position means that a return to trading may become impossible. FedCaf - the Federation of Belgian Bars – even states that in the country with the highest number of bars per inhabitant (Belgium) over 50% will not survive the Corona crisis. So, now more than ever consumers can seize the moment to dig deep and support small businesses through and after lockdown. This is particularly true for the hospitality industry where, even after the ability to reopen, social distancing measures will drastically impact the ability of companies to turn a profit.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

With bars and restaurants re-opening early July, FedCaf (the Federation of Belgian Bars) introduced a brutally simple idea and a lifeline to help bars to keep their head above the water: Helpy Hour. Helpy Hour, that’s happy hour, but the other way around. So, instead of two drinks for the price of one, this is one drink for the price of two. A simple act of generosity and solidarity to encourage the community to help bars and restaurants to get back on their feet. To be clear: Helpy Hour is for a limited period of time (the first 3 to 4 months after lockdown), it’s any hour you want it to be, and it’s up to the customer to decide whether yes or no they want to pay double for a single drink. Helpy Hour underlines the power of community support in times of crisis.

Describe the strategy (20% of vote)

Helpy Hour not only is a brutally simple idea, it is also the only real direct help to bar owners, since all th extra money that would go to second drink is going directly to the bar owners in need for help. All the other initiatives out there rely on a ‘voucher-system’. While in case of Helpy Hour, 100% of the money goes to the bar. So, Helpy Hour underlines the need to take a fresh approach to the current challenges, particularly if small businesses are to survive. Otherwise the daily rituals we so long took for granted may well be gone forever.

Describe the execution (30% of vote)

Helpy Hour was launched right after the Belgian government announced - under strict conditions - the re-opening of bars. A press release, a social movie and an emailing to over 20.000 bars that are member of FedCaf (the Federation of Belgian Bars) is all it took to proof the viral power of this idea. A creative toolkit was prepared for bars to use to help communicate Helpy Hour in all bars and restaurant. But almost all of them used their ‘owned’ media to bring the idea to live in their business through everything they had available inside and outside of the bar: windows, menus, glass bocks, mirrors, etc…

List the results (30% of vote)

75% of all Belgian bars (Belgium is the country with most bars per inhabitant) participated. Within 12 hours the entire Belgian press covered the idea and became a #1 topic on all social platforms. But that was only the start. Within 24h Helpy Hour made the news in over 100 countries. Resulting in 3.5 billion media impressions and over 8 million euros of earned media. And all this with an investment of… 2.500 Euro. Today, 5 months after Helpy Hour was rolled out, government announced a new closure. So, to avoid another wave of bankruptcies, as soon as the reopening is allowed, we’re bringing back Helpy Hour. In Belgium. And in 10 more countries. Because a community support that simple is easy to replicate.

Please tell us about the social behaviour that inspired the work

Bars and restaurants are a cornerstone of our community living. If we lose our bars, we lose a part of ourselves. Helpy hour underlines the power of social behaviour and cimmunity support in times of crisis. People have been enjoying Happy hours for over a century in the meantime. Now it’s time to return the favour for a few months.