Heineken Made Absurdly Dramatic Ads to Mirror the Thrill of Global Soccer

Take your sport with a side of sci-fi

Not all of us get the fuss over soccer. Thankfully, there’s Heineken.

In the beer brand’s self-bestowed role as great democratizer, and with help from Publicis Italy, a new series of Fredrik Bond-directed ads for its #SharetheDrama campaign interprets the stakes of the game by using cinematic tropes that non-sportspeople perhaps understand better.

First up, “The Chase” positions soccer in the context of a high-speed manhunt, complete with sinister gangsters, dramatically overturned café tables, Japanese tourists and a rain-slicked moment of truth. The ad is spearheaded by Dutch striker Ruud van Nistelrooy.

If pursuit dramatics isn’t your bag, we’ve got some strings left to pull. In “The Last Duel,” two grave men count their paces, guns cocked, as footmen and a fair lady bear witness. Toward the end, one—Polish goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek, to be exact—starts leaping back and forth, goalie-style … which is strangely also not the worst strategy when trying to avoid the straight trajectory of a bullet (or a ball).

But by far the strongest of the three ads is “The Wall,” which takes cues from sci-fi, manga and video games. If you need soccer explained to you in cinematic “geek,” all the tropes are right here—the humanoid robot, the drones, trippy geishas and an Assassin’s Creed-style protagonist in the form of Brazilian football player Ronaldo de Assis Moreira (Ronaldinho to fans), parkouring from one wall to the next.

The work stems from Heineken’s sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League club soccer tournament, and while the styles are vastly different, each spot ends much the same way. Witnesses to the drama are built in, but as we draw near to the reveal—that these stakes are actually soccer-inspired—the perspective widens to include more modern viewers, often gripping telltale green bottles between their hands as tension rises.

The ads conclude, “Sharing the drama since 2005.” And while the campaign perhaps won’t convert any new fans, it makes die-harders’ enthusiasm a little easier to get. (Frankly, we wouldn’t understand anything at all about life if it weren’t for Ghost in the Shell.)

Client: Heineken
Senior director global Heineken brand global commerce: Gianuca Di Tondo
Heineken brand communication & digital director global commerce: Anuraag Trikha
Heineken communication manager global commerce: Els Dijkhuizen
Agency: Publicis Italy
Global chief creative officer Publicis WW: Bruno Bertelli
Executive creative director Publicis Italy: Cristiana Boccassini
Executive creative directors Publicis Milan: Luca Cinquepalmi, Marco Venturelli
Associate creative directors: Eddy Guimaraes, Vinicius De Menezes
Head of TV: Silvia Cattaneo
Worldwide account director: David Pagnoni
Account manager: Fabiola Miccone
Production company: Sonny London
Director: Fredrik Bond
Line producer: Alicia Richards
Production manager: Nicola Dempsey
DoP: Lasse Frank
Edit company: Whitehouse Post Productions
Editor: Patric Ryan
Assistant Editor: Nicole Stewart
Post production: MPC London
Producer: Tomek Zietkiewicz
Creative director: Bill McNamara
VFX supervisor: Jack Stone
CG supervisor: Greg McKneally
Sound design: Raja Sehgal
Audio post production: Grand Central Recording Studios London
Soundtrack: Wave Music

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