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Heineken’s Happy Happenstance

For me there’s a ‘feel good factor’ in Heineken’s advertising and brand activation initiatives that’s hard to beat.

Even though, like most brands, they haven’t always managed to strike the perfect note in their communication, their boldness, and inventiveness in providing unusual and whacky entertainment, always makes their advertising happy viewing for me.

1. Heineken, The Odyssey

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam, The Netherlands

Heinken believes everyone excels at something and no matter how obscure their particular talent may be, it deserves a celebratory tribute.

Directed by Tom Kuntz, the commercial features a cast of non-professional actors who each, like bird caller Scott Sparrow from South Africa, has a unique skill.

Johnny Cash’s ‘Sixteen Tons’, sung in Portuguese by Noriel Vilela of Brazil, provides an effective supporting soundtrack.

2. Heineken, The Match

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam

Directed by Frederic Bond, this Cannes Lion and Clio awards winning commercial involves an entertainingly implausible story about the inventive ways a ship’s crew manages not to miss a live broadcast of the UEFA Champions League final.

3. Heineken, The Chase

Advertising Agency: Wieden+Kennedy, Amsterdam

Superbly directed by Tom Kuntz, this highly watchable Heineken commercial is a very watchable parody to mark the launch of the Bond movie “Spectre” in which Daniel Craig stars as 007 once again.

For the millions of Bond fans globally, there is an anecdotal reference to villain OddJob’s deadly bowler hat from the movie ‘Goldfinger’ that is very amusing.

4. Heineken, The Dilemma

Advertising Agency: Publicis, Italy

Directed by Giovanni Fantoni Modena, this brand activation for the Roma versus Real Madrid match had to be meticulously planned. There would be no second chance to get it right.

The revelation of the effective outcome is over three minutes long but what makes it such compelling viewing is that it is genuine. The people involved are not actors, they are for real and the ‘fall guy’s’ humorous reactions one can easily relate to in understanding the genuine dilemma he faced.

5. Heineken, The Cliché

Adverising Agency: Publicis, Brazil

This is another meticulously planned Heineken brand activation and was directed by Caio Rubini and Fabio Pinheiro with much success.

Three men dining with their girlfriends at a restaurent in São Paulo, Brazil receive invitations from Heineken in their menus to watch the UEFA final between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid ‘undisturbed’ in Milan with all expenses paid.

All they have to do is to persuade their girlfriends to spend four days at a spa with the free vouchers that are provided. The girlfriends agree. However, as the commercial rewardingly reveals, that is not the end of the story.

6. Heineken, ‘The Cliché’ Case Study

See how many goals Heineken scored with football fans.