The Spot: The Bottle Boy

Andes beer uses over-the-top melodrama to pitch basic innovation

IDEA: What's the point of a wide-mouth bottle? It makes beer easier to drink. But that's … kind of boring. Couldn't someone think of a more exciting purpose for it, or at least make one up? Enter Andes, the Argentine lager. In a truly peculiar new TV spot, the brand posits an unforeseen advantage to the wide-mouth bottle: It keeps you from getting your fingers stuck permanently in skinny bottles, from becoming a regular Edward Bottlehands—hermit-like, freakish, doomed to fumble uselessly through life, unable to shave or dress yourself or even play records on the phonograph. In short, the wide-mouth bottle gives you your life back—even if it also, by the ad's end, sadly renders your girlfriend superfluous. "Widemouth beer bottles aren't a new idea. The challenge was to promote something that already exists in a new and original way," Maxi Itzkoff and Mariano Serkin, creatives at Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi, told Adweek in an email. "We decided to make an absurd, timeless, silent soap-opera-esque tale of intrigue to showcase something as small as a wide-mouth bottle."

COPYWRITING: The creatives had "the slightly stupid insight that when you're a kid, you play around sticking your fingers in bottles." So they "built a story around that idea." A minute and 45 seconds long, the spot is a melodramatic period piece set in the indeterminate past and crafted as a silent film, with all dialogue on title cards.

A woman arrives by car at the opulent estate of a man whose fingers, it becomes clear, are all stuck in bottles—a plight that visually echoes that of Johnny Depp's Edward Scissorhands. Unable to cure his affliction, the woman helps him manage it. Before long, they fall in love—that is, until he discovers Andes' wide-mouth bottle. "Thanks for your help. I don't need you anymore!" the man, now free-fingered, tells the woman, ludicrously showing off the bottle neck's girth. "You're horrible!" she cries back. "Soap operas usually end with the main characters together," the creatives said. "This one ends with them breaking up—or more accurately, with the two true main characters together: the man and his beer."

ART DIRECTION: Visually, the spot is stately and cinematic, awash in grays and browns. "The color palette was chosen prior to shooting to give the story a prettier look," said the creatives. "During that month, we also watched a lot of period films to inspire the best color scheme for the art direction." The set dressing and costumes were all meticulously chosen as well.

FILMING: The directors Nico & Martin shot the film over two intense days at an old mansion outside Buenos Aires. "It was freezing cold and the electricity spookily cut out a few times, so we assume there were ghosts around," the creatives said. Each shot was painstakingly orchestrated, with lighting alone taking up to half an hour to set up each time.

TALENT: "We had to do casting all over the place," said the creatives, who ended up going with two underground theater actors. "It was important to us that each of them were not only good actors, but had faces that fit the era. They also had to seem like a credible if slightly naive couple. Filling the male role was even more precarious, as his character had to take a comedic turn in the end."

SOUND: The spot uses an original piano score by the composer Ezequiel Kronenberg. "We figured that it was so close to '[David] Cronenberg' that we couldn't go wrong," said the creatives.