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.

THE SPOT:

CREDITS:

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

Music

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

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