1 Drink for the Price of 2? In Belgium, ‘Helpy Hour’ Aims to Give Pubs a Boost

Campaign hopes to reinvigorate bars after lockdown

The campaign introduces the idea of supporting local businesses with a 'helpy hour.' FedCaf / Happiness

Europeans really like pubs. It’s where many spend quality time on the weekends (or the occasional boozy weeknight) drinking pints and catching up with friends. But much like other businesses that rely on walk-in customers, pubs—as well as other bars and cafes—have really been struggling due to being closed throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

As Belgium emerges from lockdown, these community hubs will once again be able to open next week, after months without income.

To help support pubs and cafes as they reopen, and harness the goodwill punters will no doubt be feeling towards their favorite haunts, Brussels agency Happiness, part of FCB, has created a new campaign for trade association FedCaf Belgium urging people to “pay two, get one.”

The campaign, which comprises an online film and downloadable poster, flips the idea of happy hour on its head and turns it into “helpy hour.”

According to FedCaf, bars could see only a third of their usual customers due to strict social distancing measures being enforced and half of Belgium’s 12,000 cafes may not survive the Covid-19 crisis.

“You do remember Happy Hour, right? Pay 1 beer, get 2. Well, now that bars are slowly reopening after they had to close for months, it’s time to return the favor: helpy hour. Pay 2, get 1,” the campaign website states. “It’s kind. It’s noble. It’s helpy. It’s the least we can do.”

Client: FedCaf
Client contact: Erik Beunckens, Diane Delen
Agency: Happiness Brussels
Executive creative management: Karen Corrigan
Chief creative officer: Geoffrey Hantson
Creative director: Katrien Bottez
Content creative director: Kenny Vermeulen
Creatives: Roxane Schneider, Pieter Claeys
Strategic planner: Wesley Roeland
Account: Arthur Dewachter
Digital PM: Julie Post
Editor: Simon Schuurman
Digital team: Bliss.

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@saramayspary sara.spary@adweek.com Sara Spary is a freelance journalist based in London. She's been a reporter for eight years, covering advertising and consumer brands.