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Issue One REWIRE Magazine

Home Safe

Published 22 Nov 2023

Two thirds of women feel unsafe walking home at night. Budweiser knew it had to act.

The night-time economy employs around nine million people. It is worth around £100bn to the UK economy. It is so important that, in London, it has its own “czar”. So why, given its importance, do we live in a society where two thirds of women feel unsafe when walking home at night?

Through its portfolio of household drinks brands – Budweiser, Stella Artois, Camden Hells, Becks and Corona, among many others – Budweiser Brewing Group UK&I (BBG) is as an active player in the bars, clubs and restaurants that bring towns and cities across the UK to life every evening.

And so when YouGov research revealed that two thirds of women felt unsafe walking home at night, BBG knew it had to work across the night-time economy, from consumers, through restaurateurs, publicans and bar managers, to the wider public, to make this everyone’s responsibility.

The path to helping create a more inclusive and enjoyable social environment for everyone firstly requires a good understanding of the problem. Off the back of YouGov’s findings, BBG and Hanover commissioned research to properly understand the scale of the problem. The topline data said that more than 66 per cent of women felt unsafe – but what was the actual impact of that, in practical terms?


More than 80 per cent of women who visit hospitality venues feel compelled to weigh up their safety when getting home; the cost-of-living crisis has forced one in five to alter their behaviour and walk more rather than take taxis, putting them at even greater risk.

It was clear that getting people safe on those walks home had to be the priority. With Hanover’s support, BBG collaborated with WalkSafe+, an app that provides tools to users to enable a safer route home based on police data on local crime.

BBG invested in helping to optimise the performance of the app and introducing new features, before utilising its strong platform and access to bars, pubs, and clubs across the UK to spread the word about how Walksafe+ can help make women safer.

Working on the app and spreading the word through night-time venues was just the start of helping to make women feel safer on the way home. The crucial measure of success would be in wider awareness, cross-channel support and, ultimately, downloads of the app and women feeling safer.

A campaign that featured multiple touchpoints across media, social channels and out-of-home advertising was launched with a flagship “moment”. A panel discussion moderated by Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Andrea Thompson and featuring Emma Kay (Founder and CMO of WalkSafe), Karen Whybro (Women’s Safety Campaigner and Activist), Chris Kitching (OnTrade IFT Director, BBG UK&I) and Sarah Walker (Safer Business Network), helped bring to life the very real concerns of women just wanting to enjoy their nights out free from worry.

The panel discussion reached key national and trade media, broadcast radio, and the campaign was pushed to as many people as possible through paid and organic social activity, an out-of-home advertising splash across TFL, National Rail and one of the most renowned venues in the country, the O2.

At the peak of the campaign, millions of people saw posters and branded coasters to encourage them to download the app. These ad slots were amplified on BBG’s social channels, with content seen across Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, Instagram and neighbourhood app NextDoor.

With around 27 per cent of the workforce employed within the night-time economy, the task of creating a more inclusive and enjoyable social environment for everyone is, of course, one that is ongoing. But by landing a campaign that reached as many people as possible, in the right places, Hanover and BBG have made strong progress in helping achieve that goal.

The campaign achieved almost 242 MILLION MEDIA IMPRESSIONS across consumer and industry stakeholders, thousands of social media impressions and almost 40 pieces of social media coverage, all raising awareness across the piece.

But most importantly, the campaign also resulted in over 33,000 DOWNLOADS OF THE WALKSAFE+ APP hopefully helping more women feel safe on night out.

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