Heineken makes non-actors the stars of TV ad for the first time

Heineken has taken the unusual step of casting 20 different non-actors to play the same role in its latest global TV ad in an attempt to prove that every man is capable of something legendary.


On a mobile? Click here to watch the Heineken Odyssey advert

The “Odyssey” advert follows a hirsute stowaway aboard a cruise ship as he uses his wit, charm and skills to impress his fellow passengers. Heineken has used the theme in all of its main ads since 2011 but this time has opted to use multiple men to play the main character rather than just one.

The character changes faces in a series of subtle switches between activities such as a limbo contest, dancing the conga and diving into a swimming pool.

The Wieden + Kennedy Amsterdam-created ad hints at more to come with the brewer inviting viewers to meet its 20 “Legends” online. Heineken were unable to provide further details on the campaign by the time this article was published.

The ad’s use of non-actors has been called into question by skeptics on YouTube with viewers questioning whether the men in it are truly skilled. Heineken has released a tongue-in-cheek video (see below) in response to the claims assuring ”no tricks, no fakes, it’s all real. Everyone is legendary at something”.

Sandrine Huijgen, global communications director at Heineken, says: “When we saw the comments about The Odyssey TVC, we wanted to show that there are no boundaries between real and fake, proving that real men have unique skills, and everyone is legendary at something.”



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