December 11, 2014 09:09 ET

Ben Collins to Become 'Des'ignated Driver

Ben Collins, former Stig, teams up with Budweiser to become the Ultimate Designated Driver this Christmas

LONDON, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwired - Dec. 11, 2014) - The former Stig is set to become the ultimate designated driver this Christmas, having teamed up with Budweiser to encourage people to celebrate responsibly over the festive season.

Ben Collins, who famously played the role of The Stig for several years, and is renowned as one of the world's most accomplished drivers, will become a 'Des' for one lucky winner on 18th December to celebrate Budweiser's Designated Driver Day, the last Thursday night before Christmas which is traditionally the busiest for parties across the UK.

The initiative aims to raise awareness of the importance of appointing a 'Des' and drinking responsibly, especially during the holiday season. One lucky Budweiser fan will have the chance to win a ride home with the former Stig on Budweiser's Twitter page from today*.

To coincide with this partnership, Budweiser has also unveiled new research** which highlights the importance of the Des role over the festive season, with nearly half of Brits polled (46 per cent) saying they will appoint a designated driver at least twice for a night out this Christmas. The unsung hero of the British night out, a patient Des also helps choose the food for their passengers with the most requested stop being the local kebab house (30 per cent), followed by a burger van (25 per cent).

The generosity continues with over half of British designated drivers (56 per cent) happy to drive up to 15 miles to drop their mates off after a night out. Christmas party-goers are a grateful bunch, though, with 80 per cent happy to let their Des decide when to call it a night.

The research also revealed that while the majority of Brits (62 per cent) do recognise that there is nothing you can do to speed up the rate at which alcohol leaves your system the next morning, 38 per cent were unaware and may not plan for the next day.

The campaign therefore also aims to educate consumers as to the importance of planning for their 'morning after' journey, not just the journey home after the night out, both during the night by alternating the alcoholic drinks you do have with soft drinks or water, stopping drinking alcohol well before the end of the night, and having a good night's sleep. Consumers are also encouraged to ensure alternate transport is available the next day, such as public transport.

Ben Collins, said: "It's particularly important over Christmas as party season kicks in that people consider how they might get home before they set off for their night out, but people really need to be thinking about it all year round. As for me being a Des for some lucky Budweiser fans, it's a role I've certainly played before and I'm very proud of this campaign. I've clocked up plenty of miles in some exotic locations throughout my driving career and in my previous job as the Stig, so I think that's why my mates have often wanted me to be their Des. The ideal designated driver needs an abundance of patience, some decent music and, as the poll has found, ultimately to be a safe driver."

As part of Budweiser's commitment to supporting designated drivers this Christmas, consumers have the chance to win a unique Budweiser Celebrate Responsibly Christmas Jumper for themselves, or their designated driver friends, through limited edition packs in Asda*** and a competition which fans can enter on Budweiser's UK Twitter page. They will also be giving road safety organisation, RoadSafe, a festive donation to the tune of £10,000.

Jennifer Anton, Budweiser UK Marketing Manager, said: "The role of the designated driver is very important, especially over the Christmas period, which is why Budweiser believes they should be acknowledged and celebrated. We want to encourage people to have great times and enjoy a beer this Christmas, but also ensure they have a plan to get home safely and responsibly."

1. Safe, trustworthy driver
2. Reliable
3. Patient
4. Good music taste
5. Has a nice car

* Terms and conditions apply, must be 18 over, see http://tsandcs.budweiser.co.uk/budweiser/xmasdescomp for full terms and conditions

** Research carried out by OnePoll on behalf of Budweiser, sample size 2,000, November 2014

*** Terms and conditions apply, must be 18 over, see https://instantwin.budweiserapps.com/xmas-terms for full terms and conditions

About Budweiser

Budweiser, an American-style lager, was introduced in 1876 when company founder Adolphus Busch set out to create the United States' first truly national beer brand - brewed to be universally popular and transcend regional tastes. Each batch of Budweiser follows the same family recipe used by five generations of Busch family brew masters. Budweiser is a medium-bodied, flavourful, crisp and pure beer with blended layers of premium American and European hop aromas, brewed for the perfect balance of flavour and refreshment.

Budweiser is brewed in 17 countries using time-honoured methods including "kraeusening" for natural carbonation and Beechwood aging, which results in unparalleled balance and character.

Anheuser-Busch InBev is a publicly traded company (Euronext: ABI) based in Leuven, Belgium, with American Depositary Receipts on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE: BUD). It is the leading global brewer and one of the world's top five consumer products companies. Beer, the original social network, has been bringing people together for thousands of years and our portfolio of well over 200 beer brands continues to forge strong connections with consumers. This includes global brands Budweiser®, Corona® and Stella Artois®; international brands Beck's®, Leffe®, and Hoegaarden®; and local champions Bud Light®, Skol®, Brahma®, Antarctica®, Quilmes®, Victoria®, Modelo Especial®, Michelob Ultra®, Harbin®, Sedrin®, Klinskoye®, Sibirskaya Korona®, Chernigivske®, and Jupiler®. Anheuser-Busch InBev's dedication to heritage and quality originates from the Den Hoorn brewery in Leuven, Belgium dating back to 1366 and the pioneering spirit of the Anheuser & Co brewery, with origins in St. Louis, USA since 1852. Geographically diversified with a balanced exposure to developed and developing markets, Anheuser-Busch InBev leverages the collective strengths of its more than 150,000 employees based in 24 countries worldwide. In 2013, AB InBev realized 43.2 billion USD revenue. The company strives to be the Best Beer Company, Bringing People Together, for a Better World. For more information, please visit: www.ab-inbev.com.


About RoadSafe

RoadSafe is a leading forum for promoting and devising solutions to road safety problems. The charity encourages the development of partnerships between private sector businesses and traffic engineers, the police and road safety professionals. Its mission is to reduce road deaths and injuries by sharing knowledge and encouraging innovation.

Any drink will impair a driver's ability so RoadSafe strongly encourages designated drivers.


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