DB Export Beer Bottle Sand

DB Breweries

Issue 43 | June 2017


Colenso BBDO

Creative Team

Creative Chairman Nick Worthington Executive Creative Director Andy Blood Copywriter Simon Vicars Art Director Andre Sallowicz Art Director Brett Colliver Senior Designer Brent Courtney

Production Team

Head of Broadcast Jen Storey Executive Producer Paul Courtney Senior Producer Scott Chapman Production Coordinator Adnaan Narot Editor Mike Hammond Digital Agency Union Digital Production Company FINCH

Other Credits

Head of Account Management Angela Watson Senior Business Director Brodie Reid Project Manager Kate Boekhorst Senior Account Manager Neil Walker Account Executive Robert Vela Head of Planning Andy McLeish Experiential Group Business Director Nick Harvey Business Director Mitch Lovich Clients Andy Routley, Sean O’Donnell, Tony Wheeler, Heath Dickson Media Agency Spark PHD PR Agency Spark PR & Activate Shopper Marketing Agency Raydar


February 2017


Sand is the second most-exploited resource on the planet (behind water). It is used in the production of almost everything, from construction to pharmaceuticals. As a result, almost two-thirds of the world's beaches were retreating. Simply put, the world was running out of sand.


Consumption of mainstream beer had been in slow decline. To reverse this, DB Breweries had tried to give beer a higher purpose. Namely, drinking beer could help save the environment.

DB Export built a fleet of machines that turned empty bottles of DB Export into a sand substitute. One bottle made 200 grams of sand.

Partnering with New Zealand's largest recycling company, commercial quantities of sand were created by combining DB Export bottles with glass destined for landfill. This was then made available to construction companies and anyone else who needed it, reducing New Zealand's reliance on beach sand.

A two-year deal was signed with Drymix, the country's biggest producer of concrete, to use the sand in the manufacture of an eco-friendly concrete sold through DIY stores.

Now, to save their beaches, all New Zealanders needed to do was empty a bottle of DB Export.


While the final results have not yet been calculated, the film of the machine had been viewed over 50 million times within weeks and shared over 700,000 times.

Road builders construction companies and golf courses have all requested sand and an electronics manufacturer investigated its suitability for microchip production.

Our Thoughts

This is a follow-up to the all-conquering 'Brewtroleum' campaign a year ago, which positioned DB Export as a beer to help drinkers save the world. (They turned the yeast used in the brewing process into a bio-fuel for cars.)

I don't think this has quite the same 'wow' factor as opening a petrol station in the city centre but sealing a two-year deal with a concrete producer to bag and sell glass-sand concrete gives real substance to this campaign.

Put it this way, it's more than a clever idea turned into a video designed to impress a jury. (And it's good to learn that a third batch of Brewtroleum is in production right now.)

And, of course, it is being imitated around the world. In Denmark, a beer brand turned its yeast waste into skin-care products. In Amsterdam a Dutch beer brand started selling bread made with their yeast; and a vodka brand has been recycling the lemons that go in every vodka tonic to make a soap.

Imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery.


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