W+K, Heineken’s ‘Departure Roulette’ Ends in Wasted Sandwich (Among Other Things)

By Erik Oster 

W+K and Heineken’s initial “social experiment” (sorry guys, no, this is a marketing campaign) “Departure Roulette” set about to send travelers at JFK Airport on a free trip to a new destination — one that they didn’t know of in advance.

Operating under the assumption that “Heineken consumers are especially open to adventure and the unknown” (and pissy-tasting beer), Heineken and W+K chose to follow-up by finding enthusiastic fans of the initial campaign in San Francisco, Los Angeles and New York and bring the Departure Roulette board to them with “Departure Roulette En Route.” These were fans who tweeted that they would love to be given the opportunity to play Departure Roulette, so it was a fair assumption that they would accept the challenge.


Surprised but delighted to be given the opportunity to press the red button and set off for destinations unknown, most seemed excited at their travel prospects. One dude didn’t know where Reykjavik is, which is kind of lame, since I would club baby seals to be given the opportunity to travel to Iceland. Someone else appears to not have been home. (They must be kicking themselves for that one.) Another guy seemed less than elated to be going to Romania, with a reaction something along the lines of “Romania? Okay, I guess I’m going to Romania.” I guess he would have preferred Disney World or something. Maybe that “open to adventure and the unknown” assumption wasn’t so accurate.

This is a really interesting campaign from W+K. The original premise was a cool idea, and the follow-up engaging fans who claimed they’d love to participate makes a lot of sense; and taking things outside of the airport really raises the bar on the spontaneity factor. Wasting a perfectly good chicken parm, though? Not so cool. Credits after the jump.

Executive Creative Directors Scott Vitrone, Ian Reichenthal, Mark Bernath, Eric Quennoy

Creative Directors Erik Norin, Eric Steele

Copywriter Will Binder

Art Director Jared White

Executive Producer Nick Setounski

Assistant Producer Kristen Johnson

Account Team Patrick Cahill, Jacqueline Ventura, Sydney Lopes

Social Strategist Jessica Abercrombie

Project Manager Rayna Lucier

Community Managers Mike Vitiello, Rocio Urena


Head of Integrated Production Lora Schulson



Production Company Legs Media

Director Dan Levin

Exec Producer Tom Berendsen

Line Producer Sara Greco

Post-Production Company Joint Editorial

Senior Producer Michelle Carman

Editor Jon Steffanson

Motion Graphics Director Yui Uchida

Information Display System


Design & Build Team The Guild

Audio Company The Lodge

Audio Mixer John Northcraft

Color Nice Shoes

Colorist Danny Boccia

Producer Melissa Dupre