It’s completely understandable that you’d seek out a sleek, dashing hero who doesn’t play by the rules when looking for a spokesperson. Of course you would. He’s what every lady wants and what every man wants to be. It’s just plain smart. It isn’t, however, very wise to choose a hero whose famous one-liner (okay, one of his many famous one-liners) is a phrase that refers to a martini, when you are, in fact, a beer company. It’s just a little counterintuitive.
We get it. Stella Artois had that whole ad campaign with Adrien Brody singing sweet nothings to a smoky room full of lovely ladies and you needed to come at them with a more debonair, devilishly handsome man. And he needed to be doing something much more riveting than singing. So you chose the man’s man, women’s dream, and all around world crime-fighting bad ass James Bond. And we can’t fault you for wanting him. We all want him (or want to be him). That’s who he is. But (and this is a big but), you, dear, sweet Heineken — you mild lager, you — are not who James Bond is. At all.
James Bond doesn’t drink beer. In fact, he doesn’t even touch the bottle to his lips in your ad. He’d drink a martini, shaken not stirred, in the middle of the Amazon if he could. And that’s part of why he’s so bad ass and so alluring. He is resolutely Bond no matter the circumstances. No matter what kind of down and dirty action goes on, he’ll emerge with a few scrapes, his hair slicked back, an impeccable suit on his shoulders, and a perfectly crafted martini in hand. He might pick up a beer… if he was in a life or death situation and need to slam it on a table to create a makeshift weapon.
Why am I bringing this up now? You announced that your product would make it into the next Bond movie months ago. Well, today, your first Bond ad was released. It shows some fledgling spy in the middle of a train chase as the choo-choo speeds through some snowy mountains. As he works his way through the train (and a myriad of Bond references and jokes — we see you, Dr. No), he gets the nod of approval from the master, James Bond himself (Daniel Craig edition) in the form of a drink James Bond himself (any onscreen* edition) would never drink, let alone hand off to his protege. My main concern, dear Heineken, is that you’re promoting the myth that by drinking Heineken, you’re drinking like James Bond. And this is not only wildly sacrilege, but a “truth” that would never have existed in a legacy that stretches back to 1962 unless you threw a meteor-sized pile of money at the franchise.
Yet somehow, in the end, a tall frosty one still sounds pretty good right about now. Damn you, advertising wizards!
*I do recognize that in Ian Fleming’s books, beer was consumed. The literary character, however, is the framework for the Bond we’ve all come to know since the movies first hit the big screen in 1962 with Dr. No. The movie Bond is being used to sell beer, not the literary character from Fleming’s novels, thus his stark character change is an issue.
Watch the Heineken ad for yourself:
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[Photo Credit: Columbia Pictures]