Heineken has launched its newest global advertising campaign, The Odyssey. This is the sixth installment of Heineken®’s groundbreaking Legends series and the first to star everyday men in the lead role, proving that everyone is legendary at something.
The intriguing campaign takes places on a cruise ship and, at first, viewers see what appears to be one bearded man board the ship, before using his wit, charm and skills to impress the passengers. As the epic film reaches its conclusion, it becomes clear that many people are morphed into the principal role, each showcasing their individual talents.
Audrey Schillings, Senior Brand Manager Heineken Global Duty Free comments: “We believe that Heineken drinkers have at least one legendary talent waiting to show to the world and some of these are celebrated in The Odyssey.
“Adventurous travel is definitely something that appeals to Heineken drinkers and it’s great to see “Cruise”, in its quirkiest sense, featuring in this new global campaign as it’s such a key growth driver for our business in Duty Free. It builds on the tremendous airport-based excitement of the Departures Roulette campaign in 2013 when travellers were encouraged to drop everything and risk heading off to a surprise destination.”
Each of the campaigns in the Legends series aims to stimulate Heineken® drinkers to cross borders and get the most out of their lives. Only this time, the campaign deliberately features everyday men playing centre-stage.
Developed in collaboration with Wieden & Kennedy Amsterdam and shot in Barcelona, The Odyssey stars 20 different ‘Men of the World’ — all of whom are non actors. Each of them are regular Heineken drinkers, chosen from an open casting call in which they had to demonstrate their talents.
The final film showcases a variety of skills as the Man of the World strides confidently around the deck, including limbo ability, the perfect tuck and dive into the ship’s pool, a suave slide down a banister in a sharp suit and exuberant tap-dancing on a table.
Choosing to use everyday men reflects Heineken’s commitment to its drinkers, having listened to their desire for a more relatable central character.
“We are slowly evolving and crafting the character,” says Gianluca Di Tondo, Heineken® Senior Global Director. “He will stay aspirational, but he is also someone our target audience believe they could be. We want our campaigns to give the men of the world out there a clear call to action to do something and to be part of our world.”
The Odyssey is the sixth in the series, with previous Legends campaigns including launch film, The Entrance, James Bond, Skyfall in 2012 and The Voyage in 2013.
Heineken has won several awards for Legends, including the 2013 Cannes Grand Prix for Creative-Effectiveness, with the criteria of being “legacy-building creative work.”
The global campaign airs in 25 countries, across a variety of broadcast and digital platforms. Alongside this, individual markets are developing activities that encourage even more Heineken drinkers to ‘Take the Stage’ and show off their talents — whether that’s DJ-ing at a major event, or, appearing on Centre Court at the 2014 US Open.