Throwing a Virtual Bouquet to Heineken for Its “Entrance” Commercial

If you’ve ever watched a football game on TV, one thing becomes clear: Beer commercials sure are stupid.

Most beer ads today blatantly objectify women, a proud tradition that goes back decades. A more recent trend is to portray men as bumbling fools who hatch plans to build homes out of Coors Light cans or chase other idiotic pursuits.

(Putting on my Evil Marketer’s Hat, I at least understand the reasoning behind using sexy women in ads. However, I can’t figure out how showcasing dimwitted men helps sell your product. But I digress …)

In contrast with all that is horrible about beer commercials, there’s Heineken’s “The Entrance” ad, which debuted awhile ago but is still in heavy rotation.

How do I love this ad? Let me count the ways …

1) The music is fantastic. The song is “The Golden Age” by the band the Asteroids. Heineken gets points for using a song that’s insanely catchy — and extra points for using a song that you’d probably never heard before. A much fresher approach than trotting out some overplayed classic that you were sick of 34 years ago.

2) It’s clever. Watch how the suave, bearded male star (Eric Monjoin) effortlessly greets the multinational contingent and even hands over a glass eye to the military figure with an eye patch. How he stages mock fights with the cowboy and karate master, to the delight of the adoring partiers. How he busts out the flute, twirling it like a baton before jamming with the band. Lots of subtly humorous touches throughout.

3) It’s sexy, but not overly sexual. From what I’ve read on comment boards, the ladies love Monjoin. And a series of alluring women in the ad seem to be intrigued too. But they’re not wearing tiny bikinis while running down a beach in slow motion.

I can’t imagine what Heineken’s budget was for this ad, but I’d consider it money well spent. Kudos to Heineken — and the agency, Wieden & Kennedy — for doing something so creative and different.

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