The next James Bond movie hasn't started filming and the originally planned November 2019 release date is in doubt after director Danny Boyle abruptly quit, according to Hollywood media reports. But Heineken has already shot its next ad featuring Bond actor Daniel Craig—it just won't run for a while.
The brewer, which has a long history of cutting ad deals with the Bond franchise, typically does not release its 007 ads until about one-and-a-half months before the movie opens—so it's in wait-and-see mode, says Gianluca Di Tondo, senior director of the global Heineken brand. "Bond is always the cherry on the cake but for us," he says. But "a slight delay is not going to be the end of the world."
For now, Heineken is pushing forward with a new global campaign that replaces "Open Your World," which debuted in 2011. (The new Bond ad, whenever it comes, will be part of the new campaign.) "Open Your World," by Wieden & Kennedy, went on to win a creative effectiveness Grand Prix at Cannes in 2013 and was a major factor propelling Heineken to be named Marketer of the Year at Cannes in 2015.
The brewer, which replaced Wieden & Kennedy with Publicis in the middle of 2015, has moved in a new, more lighthearted, direction that's a better fit for millennials and Gen Z, Di Tondo says.
"Open Your World" was originally described as conveying a "worldly, open-minded and confident personality." The campaign included spots like "The Date," in which a leading man encounters colorful characters during an epic date, and it took on more serious issues with videos like 2017's "Worlds Apart," which brought together people with different worldviews.
"Open Your World," as Di Tondo describes it, was based on the insight that "to progress in life, you must cross your border." But younger generations "already feel that they have a very high level of pressure. They would look at this as another layer of stress that they don't want to cope with."
With the new campaign, then, Heineken says it wants to dial up the fun. Di Tondo sums up the new creative approach: "If you look at life with a fresh perspective, you will enjoy it more."
The brewer's U.S. division took the lead, unleashing a new round of ads earlier this summer, including one that features a man walking into the wrong party.
The first global ad debuts this week and touts Heineken's sponsorship of the Formula One car racing league. Called "F1 Team," it shows former Formula One driver David Coulthard navigating a ritzy party with behind-the-scenes help from from his crew, who whisper into a microphone in his ear things like the name of someone he bumps into (we've all been there). It will soon be followed by an ad plugging Heineken's sponsorship of the UEFA Champions League.
The new ads, which don't have a tagline, end with "That's Heineken." (The phrase will not be used in every piece of advertising like "Open Your World" was.) As U.S. executives told Ad Age in June, Heineken doesn't see much value in taglines because consumer recall is pretty low.
Heineken has a decentralized marketing model, so it will be up to individual markets to decide which ads to air. A U.S. spokeswoman says the Formula One ad won't run here (F1 is less popular in the U.S. than it is globally). The lead agency on the campaign is Publicis Milan, but the agency calls in talent from offices across the globe, Di Tondo says.
The Heineken brand grew volumes by 7.5 percent in the first half of the year, the company reported. But trends are worse in the U.S., where case volumes fell 3.6 percent in the year-to-date period ending Aug. 18, according to Nielsen.