Heineken Ad Flops, Brand Accepts It Misses the Mark
Brand owners of globally acclaimed Heineken premium lager has accepted it missed the mark in its new television commercial with tag-line, “sometimes, lighter is better” as some respondents figured some covert or overt racial intent in the new commercial.
Angela Doland of Ad Age’s Wake-Up Call, a daily roundup of advertising, marketing, media and digital news, compiled a “not too good” comments for global premium lager brand based on the just released television commercial.
Featuring “What people are talking about today”: Heineken’s getting criticized for a beer advertising with the tagline “sometimes, lighter is better.”
Chance, the Rapper took up the issue on Twitter, saying he found the spot “terribly racist,” and actress Gabrielle Union posted the commercial with a line of puzzled-looking emojis. It’s a light beer, which explains the tagline.
What bothered some people was the interplay between the tagline and the images on the screen. As Ad Age’s E.J. Schultz writes, the commercial
“shows a bartender sliding a Heineken Light down a bar to a woman who appears dissatisfied with her glass of wine. The beer passes several dark-skinned bar-goers before reaching the woman, who has lighter skin than some of the other patrons.”
Meanwhile, the message “sometimes, lighter is better” flashes on the screen. One Twitter user wrote:
“Damn. That’s not even subliminal, that’s overt.” Others said they didn’t see racism, just an ad for light beer.
As Schultz writes, this was Heineken’s response: “While we feel the ad is referencing our Heineken Light beer”, we missed the mark, are taking the feedback to heart and will use this to influence future campaigns.”
Meanwhile, development on the issue has it that the global company has pulled the commercial following the series of backlash. “Heineken has removed an ad following a wave of online criticism slamming the commercial as “terribly racist”, claimed the American’s nbcnews.com
The brand reputed to be in a class of its own in the Nigerian market ranks as one of the most successful on Nigerian Breweries’ portfolio. It’s advertising in Nigeria is managed by Insight Publicis.