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Dialing Up Nights Out: Heineken® & Bodega Launch the No-Frills ‘Boring Phone’

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  • Heineken® and US brand and retail marketplace Bodega have launched ‘The Boring Phone', to help people discover there is more to their social life when there is less on their phone
  • In a world where smartphones are becoming too interesting, ‘The Boring Phone’ takes things back to basics with no access to the internet, social media or other apps
  • The device will be shown for the first time on Thursday 18th April at a pop-up Bodega at Milan Design Week; the world’s leading festival for design and innovation
  • Following research that reveals 90% of people admit to habitually scrolling on nights out, Heineken® has answered the “call” from young adults who want to disconnect from their tech

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MILAN, April 17, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Heineken®, in collaboration with tastemakers in street culture, Bodega have launched ‘The Boring Phone’.

The limited run of ‘dumb’ phones – specifically designed to have reduced tech capabilities - has been created to encourage people to enjoy better real-life connections on nights out by disconnecting from their smartphones.

With smartphones becoming so advanced and interesting to the user, it’s easier than ever to connect to the online world but harder to stay in the moment. Produced by European mobile innovator, Human Mobile Devices (HMD), the Heineken® x Bodega Boring Phone strips back the distractions of today’s smartphones. Designed to deliver the basics needed for a great night out, the phone’s primary function is to send and receive calls and text messages.

The phone’s transparent casing and holographic stickers draw inspiration from Gen Z’s love of Newtro fashion and design and are reminiscent of mobile phones of the early 2000s. With modern-day frills removed, the phone is unable to download social media or other apps that take away from being present. It also has a handy week of standby time and up to 20 hours of talk time.

As smartphones continue to dominate attention spans globally, new research commissioned by Heineken® reveals 90% of Zillennials* across the UK and US confess to doom scrolling while socialising with friends and family; checking their devices seven times each night out on average.

When it comes to the biggest distractions, two-thirds admit to checking social media (62%) when hanging out with others, while over a third (36%) confess to checking work emails. Three in ten (30%) also revealed they sneakily play games instead of engaging with their family and friends in the moment.

But as over a third (37%) reveal that they check their phones more often than they should when socialising, the tide is beginning to turn with 32% admitting they would like to be able to switch off from their phones while on a night out.

Encouragingly, one in five (22%) revealed they already turn their phone off or leave it at home ahead of social occasions and a further two in five (38%) say they’d consider doing so.

Heineken® and Bodega have embarked on this partnership to show people that there is more to their social life when there is less on their phone.

Nabil Nasser, the Global Head of Heineken® comments, We could all do with a break from the constant distractions of smart tech; something our research has shown is even more important to our Gen Z and Millennial consumers. When we spoke to them about their smartphone usage, we quickly realised that many feel they are habitually distracted when socialising by their device but also admit they didn’t want to go completely phone-free. At Heineken®, we want to foster moments of genuine connection and help people experience the joy of true togetherness. In creating The Boring Phone we have gone back to basics, we have dialled down the tech to help people truly connect over a beer, without any distraction from the constant buzzing and dings.”

Oliver Mak, co-founder of Bodega adds, At Bodega, we see ourselves as a vehicle for connecting culture and young people, so when Heineken approached us to collaborate on a project designed to do exactly this, we were excited to get involved. Despite having grown up surrounded by technology, us Gen Z and Millennials are now recognising that our dependence on our phones is impacting our ability to make actual, real-life connections. This in turn impacts our ability to have fun, and on a macro level, the development of culture.

“Smartphones can be too interesting, so we wanted to design a boring one.We were really inspired by the rise of Newtro and wanted to reinterpret a past cultural icon that some younger Zillennials may not have experienced before. We can’t wait to see the response to The Boring Phone as we merge our visions in a shared pursuit of creativity and community. This is truly going to help answer the call for better nights out.”

Emerging Ibiza-based, British producer, TSHA, who is quickly becoming one of the most exciting young artists in the industry, will be celebrating The Boring Phone launch with a giveaway to fans, having experienced first-hand how smart tech serves as a barrier to being in the moment at music events.

TSHA says, As an artist, you want to connect with the audience to know they’re having a good time, but it’s hard to do this when you look up from the decks and see a sea of smartphones flashing in your face. I would love to see a world where we enter the venue and just live in the moment; connect with the artist, your mates and just have a good time. The Heineken x Bodega Boring Phone is the perfect antidote to the barriers smart tech pose to nights out.”

Heineken® and Bodega will unveil The Boring Phone at Milan Design Week on Thursday 18th April, with a party hosted by the collaborators. Following this, devices will be given away to revellers around the world, so they can disconnect, reclaim quality time with friends, family and loved ones, and dial up their nights out.

An app that will turn smartphones boring will also be launched in June to give those who don’t manage to get their hands on a physical device the Boring Phone experience.

To discover more about The Boring Phone and why ditching smart tech enables better nights out, visit www.heineken.com/theboringphone.

Notes to editors:
For more information, images and interview requests please contact Heinekenboringphone@wearetheromans.com.

Research*:
Heineken commissioned survey of 4,000 Gen Z and Millennial Smartphone users of legal drinking age (2,000 UK, and 2,000 USA). Conducted by OnePoll, March 2024. Data can be separated into just UK/US/Gen Z/Millennial demographics if required. Further data from Italy, Brazil, Germany and Mexico available upon request.

About the Boring Phone

Dimensions108 x 55 x 18.9mm, 123g
DisplaysInternal: 2.8” QVGA | External: 1.77" QQVGA
Camera0.3MP + LED flash
DesignErgonomic flip phone with DualSIM
AudioFM radio (wired/wireless)
Connectivity2G, 3G, 4G | Bluetooth 4.2 | 3.5mm AV jack | Micro USB
Battery1,450mAh (removable)
Up to 6 hrs 3G/4G networks talk time. Up to 20hrs talk time in 2G networkss | Over a week of standby time
StorageInternal: 128MB | MicroSD slot up to 32GB
ChargingMicro USB


About Bodega

Founded in 2006 as a conceptual retail space encompassing street culture and contemporary fashion, Bodega has evolved into a global tastemaker within traditional retail, e-commerce, art experiences, and design. Based in Boston, MA & Downtown LA, Bodega’s fully hidden, experimental retail space has been described as a living art installation and is one of the most talked about experiences on the planet https://bdgastore.com/.

About Heineken®
HEINEKEN® is the world's most international brewer. It is the leading developer and marketer of premium beer and cider brands. Led by the Heineken® brand, the Group has a portfolio of more than 300 international, regional, local and specialty beers and ciders. We are committed to innovation, long-term brand investment, disciplined sales execution and focused cost management. Through "Brewing a Better World", sustainability is embedded in the business. HEINEKEN® has a well-balanced geographic footprint with leadership positions in both developed and developing markets. We employ over 85,000 employees and operate breweries, malteries, cider plants and other production facilities in more than 70 countries. Heineken® N.V. and Heineken® Holding N.V. shares trade on the Euronext in Amsterdam. Prices for the ordinary shares may be accessed on Bloomberg under the symbols HEIA NA and HEIO NA and on Reuters under HEIN.AS and HEIO.AS. HEINEKEN® has two sponsored level 1 American Depositary Receipt (ADR) programmes: Heineken® N.V. (OTCQX: HEINY) and Heineken® Holding N.V. (OTCQX: HKHHY).

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at:

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