'The One': Heineken aims to nab 'Matrix' ad limelight

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In its blockbuster match-up with Warner Bros.' "Matrix Reloaded," Heineken is billing its beer (like Keanu Reeves' Neo character) as "The One" in retail displays, bar promos, print and TV ads. But it is actually sharing in the "Matrix" limelight with Samsung, Coca-Cola's Powerade and General Motors Corp.'s Cadillac.

The brewer is confident, however, that its largest international promotion will garner attention. "We felt comfortable that we would be very visible and would not get lost in the process," said Heineken Brand Manager Mike McCann of the campaign.

A literal "ass-kicking" 30-second TV spot, directed by "Matrix" first assistant director James McTeigue, demonstrates a Trinity-esque waitress trying to get a tray of Heineken through a packed bar using her "Matrix" moves. The ad was created by Publicis, New York, with the Wachowski brothers, the writers/directors of the "Matrix" series.

Holographic retail displays depict a Heineken bottle appearing from digital steaming code and were created by Ryan Partnership, Westport, Conn., along with bar displays and events. Red Pill Media designed a Heineken/"Matrix" microsite with an online merchandise sweepstakes and behind-the-scenes commercial gallery. Publicis' MediaVest was responsible for media buying.

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