Beer commercials have set themselves a high bar. And not just during the Super Bowl. Typically it’s been the behemoths MillerCoors and Bud going toe-to-toe, but once in a while another brauhaus comes careening across the pop-culture radar like say, a drunken “Asteroid Galaxy Tour.”
I saw this Heineken commercial a while ago and it’s still on, but I couldn’t shake the song from my skull and had to look it up. Google “hein” and the omniscient oracles of search rightfully suggest: “Heineken commercial song.” (Clearly I wasn’t the only one called by the siren song.)
Here’s what I love about it:
It’s hipster-laugh-at-itself funny. To wit: hipsters are usually above self-deferential slapstick, but look at all the funny/crazy characters in this. It’s like a Wes Anderson frat party. It’s doubtful that you’d buy a beer from any one of these guys (Eye-Patch Admiral, Latin Fat Guy Faux-GunSlinger…the protagonist plays a flute!), but as a group of pitchmen: I’ll buy the whole bar a round.
Heineken didn’t just shoot a :30-second commercial, they made the whole music video. It’s like they knew that hundreds of thousands of people would want to watch the full-length version and that maybe, just maybe someone would even blog about it. And that friends, is what’s called “free marketing.”
And of course, the song: fun, light, memorable, sexy, festive, retro-and-yet-current, vaguely European (this is Heineken and Amsterdam after all).
But mostly, it’s the charge: “sing it out loud and let yourself be.” Now some cynics might scoff: big beer company tells you to be an individual. Ha. Okay sure, but why not? That’s really exactly what good mass-marketing needs to do in the 21st century: cultivate common action (go here, buy this, do that) among individuals, so you might as well be earnest about it, no? And if the effort is as artistic and well thought-out as this, I’ll buy.