Heineken critiques drinkers' gender stereotypes in humorous campaign

Heineken: ahem… the Aperol Spritz is actually for the gentleman
Heineken: ahem… the Aperol Spritz is actually for the gentleman

Why shouldn't a man enjoy a beautiful cocktail?

Heineken has launched a global campaign that aims to deal a blow to the deep-seated notion that beer is predominantly a drink for men.

"Cheers to all", created by Publicis Italy, is a montage of bar scenes telling similar stories: in each case, a waiter arrives with a bottle of Heineken and a visually splendid cocktail, before – without asking – serving the beer to a man and the cocktail to a woman. The pair are then left to awkwardly swap their drinks.

It was written by Michele Picci, art directed by Francesco Basile and directed by Megaforce through Iconoclast Paris. The work will run in 14 countries on TV, digital and social media. It will be shown in the UK later this year at a time to be confirmed.

Blanca Juti, chief corporate affairs officer at Heineken, said the campaign was about "breaking stereotypes, both ways. There’s no reason why beer should be for men and cocktails for women. Drinks have no gender. We want to show a picture of society that is real and that treats people equally."

The brand’s communication strategy, Juti said, was "based on the belief that if you look at life with a fresh perspective, you will enjoy it more. In Heineken ads, we aim to be concrete and fresh. This ad is a real picture of reality; we didn’t have to add anything. When you see it, you smile because something like this has happened to all of us. That’s why it resonates."

Juti pointed out that gender stereotypes were not new territory for Heineken; the topic was explored in 2016's Brazilian campaign "The cliché", in which a group of men think they have been treated to a viewing party for the Champions League final, while their girlfriends enjoy a spa day – only to have the tables turned.

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