Nothing says "family" like pretending to love the terrible gifts your relatives have gotten you for the holidays.
That, at least, is the basic premise of a new 30-second Christmas ad from Heineken starring Benicio del Toro, and emphasizing that Heineken is, technically speaking, a family-owned business.
Part of Publicis Worldwide's new "There's more behind the star" campaign, it's the latest in a series of spots, launched earlier this year, featuring the A-list actor as a spokesman for the brewer, whose logo is, like him, a star.
While the Heineken family does still hold a controlling stake in the company, the attempt to frame it as intimate is relatively laughable. The global conglomerate owns some 170 brands around the world and sports revenues in the $20 billion range.
To be fair, the scope of Heineken's operations—in 192 countries, to be precise—are the focus of an earlier spot in the campaign, where the Oscar winner finds himself mistaken for another world-famous actor.
Regardless, del Toro's performance here is plenty entertaining, as he demonstrates how his acting talents are put to exceptional use during the exchanging of presents. For example, he grins masterfully while unwrapping an undeniably thrilling electric hand mixer that certainly won't end up forgotten in a kitchen cabinet, or collecting dust in the basement.
The concept is hardly new. In fact, Jeff Goldblum did almost exactly the same schtick for U.K. electronics retailer Currys PC World last year. The twist in the Heineken ad, if you can call it that, is that del Toro in the end is most pleased with the gift he's gotten himself—a case of Heineken.
If nothing else, it's certainly true that having a good buzz going will help you get through even the most tedious of family affairs.