Product / ServiceHECATE
CategoryB06. Use of Events & Stunts
EntrantCHERRY Tokyo, JAPAN
Idea Creation CHERRY Tokyo, JAPAN
Production BRAVO Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 2 KAIBUTSU Tokyo, JAPAN
Production 3 TM Tokyo, JAPAN
Additional Company ADK Tokyo, JAPAN


Name Company Position
Kensuke Harada CHERRY Creative Director + Campaign Director + Copywriter + Planner
Shotaro Nieda CHERRY PR Director + Planner
Fusanari Masuda CHERRY Art Director+Planner
Yuto Tamura TM INC. Designer
Hiroki Kato ADK Strategic Planner
Hideo Fukuyama ADK Account Producer
Toru Murayama ADK Account Producer
Koji Endo ADK Account Producer
Masakazu Sasaki BRAVO Campaign Producer
Hiroyoshi Uruma K.K.H.U Stage Director
pirates of machobean Freelance Choreographer
Yusuke Kitani kaibutsu Equipment Designer
Yoichi Kanazawa kaibutsu Equipment Designer
Hikaru Shiiki PYRAMID FILM QUADRA Web Producer
Sonoka Yoshida PYRAMID FILM QUADRA Web Assistant Producer
Manabu Ariyoshi Web Designer AID-DCC
Yuta Sumi PYRAMID FILM QUADRA Project Manager
Yuki Igarashi Pagiles Operation Manager
Ryosuke Sato Pagiles Operation Manager
Yumi Kato Pagiles Operation Manager
Toshiyuki Sakuma Freelance Execution Director
Takanori Kubo catchball Inc. PR Promoter
Yoshinori Maruyama Soda! Communications Film Producer
Tsuyoshi Yabuki Soda! Communications Film Production Manager
Erika Michishita HECATE Founder of HECATE

Why is this work relevant for PR?

Hecate launched in 2018. We needed to find an aggressive growth hack for party goers to recognize the brand quickly. Instead of producing a TV commercial, we opted to use a PR experience that we called the "Drunk Prank Delivery." Our target is millenial party goers, therefore something that would create a buzz through social media would get their attention. This mysterious service brought a club atmosphere to anywhere in Japan. The Hecate Party Squad was able to trick partiers into thinking that they were getting drunk on HECATE when in reality HECATE is non-alcoholic.


Around the world, the trend of young adults keeping their distance from alcohol is growing. In Japan the rate of alcohol consumption among young adults has fallen by half over the past ten years according to a recent government study. But these non-drinkers want a way to party too. We made Hecate for them. Everything from the packaging, flavoring, and coloring was designed to impersonate an alcoholic drink. We replicated these attributes so well, consumers were convinced they were drinking an alcoholic beverage. Leaning into that feature with sensational marketing on social media, we wanted to create an experience that encouraged our consumers to realize they could party without alcohol and be excited to spread the word. This was our goal.

Describe the creative idea (20% of vote)

We invented a new service called “Drunk Prank Delivery” that you can order online to bring you or your friends that rowdy drunken feeling without the alcohol. We hid from our initial consumers that this was a non-alcoholic beverage, allowing the power of suggestion to take over. The app delivered HECATE’s brand ambassadors, the Drunk Squad, along with their party paraphernalia (like a toilet paper gun), as they drove all around Japan in a pimped out truck, creating a party atmosphere. The consumer’s psychology did the rest. When we revealed to them that the product was a non-alcoholic beverage they were incredulous at first, then amazed. They had been playfully pranked and now could see that they had just as much fun without the alcohol. Our twist ending inspired the consumers to spread the Hecate brand name by word of mouth through social media.

Describe the strategy (30% of vote)

Our target is the young adult partier. According to a Japanese government study, alcohol consumption rates fell to less than half of what it was in the past decade. Partygoers are increasingly looking for non-alcoholic entertainment. Many believe that they aren’t able to get into the partying mood without alcoholic drinks. For that reason the HECATE delivery service concealed the drink’s 0% ABV level. After the experience, we revealed it was not alcoholic. They saw that they could get into a drunken mood with our non-alcoholic beverage and were pleasantly surprised. We directly engaged our audience by literally handing them the product. We made it part of their party routine. We successfully created an experience people felt compelled to share on social media. Their followers saw and were compelled to try themselves. The cycle repeated to create a viral chain reaction. The viral hit attracted new media attention.

Describe the execution (20% of vote)

No printed media, television spots, or sponsored social media posts were created. We relied solely on the strength of our experiential marketing and word of mouth. Our website delivered a party atmosphere to them whenever and wherever they wanted. After they entered their location, the Drunk Squad (a group of enthusiastic young women led by a charismatic drag queen) would be sent on their way in a custom truck with 10 all-original Hecate devices (including wearable disco mirror-ball, bubble backpack, Hecate gun, and toilet paper gun). We believed that the experience and the bait-and-switch revelation that Hecate is non-alcoholic would propel the experience to social media fame through word of mouth and would widelyspread the recognition of the brand.

List the results (30% of vote) – must include at least two of the following tiers:

We endeavoured to take an enormous risk with our marketing strategy. We concentrated solely on the experience and the app, relying on word of mouth. The results were unexpected and fantastic. The unique weirdness of our service and compelling proposition that one could become drunk without drinking alcohol perked up many ears. The prank itself, that utilized the placebo effect, made it even more buzzworthy. Before “Drunk Prank Delivery”, our brand recognition was 0%. Within three months, it was nearly 50%. We tracked social media and found that there had been over 3.5 million brand impressions. On top of that, 302 new media articles mentioned the Hecate name. The buzz fed off of itself. There was increased demand for our product in clubs and concert venues coming from the venue owners. In our first year we went 300% over our anticipated sales numbers.