The Spot: Bond’s Favorite Beer

007 trades his martini for a cold one in W+K's new Heineken ad

IDEA: James Bond doesn't always drink beer. But when he does, he prefers … well, Heineken. With apologies to Dos Equis, 007 is the original "most interesting man in the world." And he declares his allegiance to the Dutch lager in a new global campaign from Wieden + Kennedy timed to the release of the latest Bond movie, Skyfall.

It's a natural fit for Heineken, whose recent global ads "The Entrance" and "The Date" each focused on an intriguing male lead—the brand calls him its "Man of the World"—who is Bond-like in his charm, ingenuity and worldliness. The hero of the new 60-second spot is mistaken for Bond himself as villains chase him through a train that's roaring through the Siberian wilderness. Daniel Craig and the new Bond girl, Bérénice Marlohe, make cameos, but it's the Heineken man who outwits his adversaries—earning himself a beer from 007 and a mysterious briefcase from Marlohe.

"The Bond films have always been aligned to Heineken's international, premium image," said Cyril Charzat, Heineken's senior global brand director. "In this campaign, we see the charm and resourcefulness shared by James Bond and the Heineken Man of the World, which allows him to momentarily step successfully into Bond's shoes."

COPYWRITING: The plot is like a heightened version of a Bond movie as the hero is chased from an opulent bar car to a control room, an ice car and finally into a swingin' club car, where New Zealand's Gin Wigmore, who sings the soundtrack, is performing.

      "The genesis of the script was a mistaken-identity situation, in which the Heineken man bumps into James Bond (who is dressed identically) and is then accidentally chased by some nasty-looking villains," said Eric Quennoy, executive creative director at W+K. "A remote Siberian train platform seemed like the perfect Bond-like place for this to happen, and the train itself seemed like a perfectly contained vehicle for the narrative to play out. Each carriage provided an opportunity to throw up a different challenge for the Man of the World to navigate and to also showcase a range of beautiful sets that pay homage to the Bond world."

The hero parachutes from the train at the end, as the Heineken and Bond logos appear, along with the tagline, "Open your world."

ART DIRECTION/FILMING: Visually, the spot maintains Heineken's "richness that feels premium and worldly," said Mark Bernath, ecd at W+K. The fun part was peppering the scenes with subtle references to the Bond franchise and to Ken Adam's classic Bond sets. Sharp-eyed fans will notice the Spectre ring from Dr. No, the Zorin Industries and Spectre logos and the Fabergé egg used in Octopussy and the GoldenEye. "It's more of an homage with subtle cues rather than a literal recreation of the Bond world," said Bernath.

Some original footage from Dr. No even appears briefly. CGI was used in the exterior shots and window backgrounds and for the playing cards. Matthijs van Heijningen shot the interiors at Shepperton Studios in London and the exteriors in Romania over several weeks.

TALENT: The hero is good-looking and self-assured, though this time he needed to pull off more of a harried look as well. Craig and Marlohe were consummate pros. "We didn't have a lot of time with Mr. Craig as he has a pretty packed schedule," said Quennoy. "But he came in, slipped into Bond mode and nailed every single take we needed him to. We couldn't ask for much more than that."

SOUND: The song is Wigmore's 2011 track "Man Like That." "We always look for tracks that are unknown or at least obscure," said Bernath. "Gin's track also had the energy we needed to drive the story and, although we don't necessarily require it, the lyrics worked quite well with the idea."

Sound design heightens certain moments. "We're maniacs about the finer points of any production, so things like sound design are always crucial," Bernath said. "It's always a delicate balance when you have a track that wants to be out front, but you need the sound design to heighten certain moments. It's the kind of thing we could work on for ages."

MEDIA: The spot leads to an online game called Crack the Case, wherein Marlohe invites the viewer to board a train and search for a hidden briefcase. A real-world version of the game will launch in a few weeks.


Client: Heineken
Global Brand Director Cyril Charzat
Global Communications Director Sandrine Huijgen
Global Communications Manager Josefien Olij
Global Digital Manager Lennart Boorsma
Global Sponsorship Director Hans-Erik Tuijt
Global Sponsorship Manager Joost Geurts

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, Amsterdam
Executive Creative Directors Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy
Creative Directors Mark Bernath & Eric Quennoy
Art Director Thijs Biersteker, Adrien Bindi
Copywriter Dan Maxwell
Agency Producer Tony Stearns
Head of Production Erik Verheijen
Planner Stuart Parkinson
Connections Planner Richard Oldfield
Creative Technologist Paul Skinner
Group Account Director Clay Mills, Jordi Pont
Account Director Clare Pickens
Account Manager Jorge Fesser
Print producer Sharon Kwiatkowski
Head of Design Joe Burrin
Studio Artist Anthony Fabre
Digital Producer Arnaud Ronquillo & Tristan Parker
Digital Editor Rene Pannevis, Robin Pijpers
Project Manager Sharon Kwiatkowski
Business Affairs Barrie Williams

Production Company: MJZ
Director Matthijs van Heijningen
Director of Photography Joost van Gelder
Producer Chris McBride
Executive Producer Debbie Turner

Editing Company: Hagon
Editor Jono Griffith

Audio Post: Grand Central Studios
Sound Designer/Mixer Raja Sehgal

Artist/Title: Gin Wigmore/"Man Like That"
Music Company Agoraphone
Music Supervisor Beth Urdang

Post-Production: The Mill
VFX Supervisor: Hitesh Patel
Flame: Jay Bandlish
3D: Jordi Bares
Telecine: Seamus O'Kane
Producer: Paul Schleicher

Print Production
Photographer: Hugo Stenson
Agent: Sonny

Digital Production: Irrisistible
Director Johnny Grant
Producer Matt Nelson

Post-Production: The Mill
Producer: Paul Schleicher

Digital Production: Media Monks
Producer: Quinten Beek
Producer Chris Herrebrugh
Producer Wouter Smit
Art Director Jouke Vuurmans
Art Director Jeroen van der Meer
Flash developer Hendrik-Jan de Harder
Flash developer Arjan van Wijk
Flash developer Thijs Broerse
Designer Kjegwan Leihitu
Designer Massimo Meijer
ASP developer Elmar Keij
ASP developer Tonny Wildeman
Director of films Rogier Schalken