Ad of the Day: Heineken Honors the Odd Ideas That Can Spark a Downtown Revitalization

One incredibly strong magnet pulls a neighborhood together

Headshot of David Griner

If you've lived or worked in a downtown as it came back from the brink of blight, you know that one bold business idea can be the tipping point.

 Whether it's a brewery based in an abandoned warehouse or a gourmet coffee shop that reclaimed an old fire station, these entrepreneurs can often offer a proof of concept and end up reversing decades of decline. 

Heineken captures this frequent reality in a new spot called "The Canvas," part of the international brewer's years-long push that promotes urban pride, creativity and revitalization.

In the new spot (likely from Publicis, though we've reached out for agency and production credits), we see a trio of guys getting tossed out of a beer shop at closing time, only to find the rest of the neighborhood vacated.

So they do what any resourceful guys would do: Break into an auto garage and start playing with incredibly powerful magnets. Next thing you know, a sushi pop-up has appeared next door, a guy points his TV projector out the window and yadda yadda yadda, downtown is packed with people. So easy!

OK, so admittedly it's a fanciful take on urban renewal and not some sort of detailed homage to the writings of Ray Oldenburg, but there's still a charming grain of truth in how this one plays out:

Heineken's city-driven marketing focus has played out in many different ways across many different countries recently. Here's a brief recap of some of the brand's U.S.-focused efforts:

@griner David Griner is creative and innovation editor at Adweek and host of Adweek's podcast, "Yeah, That's Probably an Ad."