Holiday Greetings, From Heineken

NEW YORK Casting proved to be the biggest challenge in creating Heineken’s holiday spot, according to Hungry Man director Russ Lamoureux.

In the ad by Publicis in New York, which began running on Dec. 10, a man awkwardly wraps a six-pack of Heineken as “Jingle Bells” plays in the background. When done, however, he decides he wants one, so he makes a hole in the “present,” takes one out, and covers the hole with a bow. The spot ends with the copy “Happy Holidays,” and the Heineken logo.

“We were trying to find a guy who was relatable and cool, but wasn’t aspirational,” said Lamoureux. “Because there was no dialogue, it was almost harder to cast, because it’s so easy to nail a line. But when there’s just facial reactions and gestures, you have to find an actor who can really act.”

Lamoureux and the creatives on the spot, global creative directors Ken Ratcliffe and Ted Royer, considered 75 people before finding their man, who had the right mix of approachableness and affability.

The whole spot was created in just two weeks. “It was a pretty tight process, but sometimes that’s good, no one gets to overthink,” Lamoureux said.