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."

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