Hot off the, um, airways

From Lisa Feldhusen:
I saw this ad on TV yesterday, and for some reason the music made me stop and pay attention, and the more I watched, the more I liked it. The song is familiar to me for some reason, but I can’t place it. It’s a unique, catchy song, and I think it complimented the ‘feel good’ tone of the commercial. I know it’s silly and naïve to think a person could step over any cultural boundary with just a Heineken in hand as a symbol of good will, but it’s the most earnest attempt I’ve seen in terms of a commercial trying to overcome stereotypes by acknowledging they exist. Although each character in the commercial is very different, i.e, cowboys and ballerinas, they all share a similar passionate human spirit that shines through in their smiles after they receive a Heineken and pass it on to the next happy human. The Santa guy was so happy! It’s cheesy, but I like it.

I spent time researching their other commercials and read Advertising Ages review of the Draughtkeg ‘perfect women’ commercial. AdAge was not impressed and called it the most sexist beer commercial ever produced. It’s not a happy, feel good commercial. I posted it too, so you can see the two very different approaches that Heineken has used to sell their various products. I prefer the “Share the Good” or the “Serving the Planet” tagline to the techno, futuristic Draughtkeg commercial, but I’d be curious to see how others respond to these two ads.


3 Responses

  1. I think Lisa did a wonderful job picking out two commercials from the same company that when juxtaposed highlight the malleability of corporate image through advertising. The first commercial, as Lisa points out, focused on the beer as a “symbol of good will” and peoples’ equally similar desire to make others happy. The second commercial, however, depicts women in this awkward submissive role where they make men happy by “serving the planet.” One ad plays off the feelings of equality whereas the second radiates feelings of servitude. Can we argue that these differences were enacted solely on the goal of attracting different audience bases, or could it also be a restructuring of company image?

    The disapproval that Lisa mentions from Ad Age is probably only a peek at the disapproval the company met from activist groups and the female population in general; I know I changed my perception of the company after seeing the second ad. So, could it be possible that the second ad, in attempt at regaining some of the lost market segment, is trying hard to portray happiness through equality as its own corrective advertising?

  2. I had never seen the “share the good” add before either, but I like it. It’s kind of corky in it’s approach like you were saying, however, as someone who happens to love Heineken beer; I’d be stocked if someone gave me one. So I think it was a good strategy.
    As for the “perfect woman add,” I had seen this one before. I never thought much of it other than it was just weird. I like the product being pitched but I didn’t think much into the way it was being pitched. Then when you talked about it being the “perfect woman” and “most sexist commercial” I went and took another look at it. When watching it again i saw what you meant. It is very sexist; making a girl with the functions of a perfect beer server. I guess I never really saw it until u said so cause I’m a guy and was able to look past it without a second thought.

  3. Well, after watching both of the ads (I’ve never seen either one before), I sort of agree with what the others are saying, and what Ad Age said, in terms of the second ad being kind of sexist…however, I feel like even though both ads are for Heiniken, the packaging makes the products appeal to different audiences, therefore the ads must both be different in strategy.

    I think the first ad does a very good job of evoking happy emotions, and makes people want to grab a couple of beers and sit down with good friends and have fun. On the other hand, I think the second ad is trying to introduce the new product (correct me if I’m wrong, but I think the mini-keg is a relatively new product), so the company used a strange premise to capture audience attention and begin to wonder about the product, and maybe want to learn more about it. I also think the second ad appeals to a younger, maybe college-late 20s audience, who still likes to party and “keep the beer flowing.”

    I think both ads are effective for their purpose, but I am personally not a fan of the second one at all. The first one would make me want to drink a Heiniken much more, because of its upbeat, happy tone; I want to be like those people–with a smile on my face, a beer in my hand, and my close friends nearby. 🙂

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