Every man is legendary at something, says Heineken

“The Odyssey” by Heineken® is an adventure in cool, exploring the possible, with an underlying message of self-confidence for every man. And every woman.

Let’s start with a confession.  I am not a big fan of commercials.  I flip the radio station in the car when the talking starts.  I have a sudden urge to visit the bathroom or the fridge when TV ads come on.  I don’t click on ads on websites – I just don’t.

But I have nothing against entertainment.

Which is where an amusing commercial called “The Odyssey” from Heineken® comes in.  I know, you’re probably rolling your eyes and wondering what I see in yet another beer commercial of good buddies, babes in bikinis, everybody having a good time, a cooler of ice with cans of beer, etc.

Scenes from The Odyssey by Heineken

The Heineken® commercial is different in a few important ways.

  • Bottles, not cans.
  • A lobster opens the bottle. (cameo appearance)
  • The lead character with dry hair hops aboard a cruise ship from below. (Don’t try this at home, for obvious reasons.)
  • He is a bearded dude. (Here is why that is so cool!)
  • He limbos. (OK, that’s almost normal for beer commercials.)
  • He dresses in two seconds flat.
  • A seagull comes at his beckoning.
  • He slides down the banister.
  • He catches a lady’s eyes (She’s in a classy dress, not a bikini.) and sends her a Heineken by shuffleboard, nailing it right through the walking feet of another lady.
  • He does some pretty crazy – make that “wild” – dance steps (including an incredible Russian!) with the dancing girls on stage.
  • Finally he does a backward dive off the edge of the cruise ship, back into the ocean from whence he first appeared. (No word on whether his hair stayed dry.)

Bottom line, this commercial holds our attention – who is this dude?  What will he do next?  And most importantly, Heineken® does not cast him as leaning on his beer in order to get the attention of the ladies.  He has their attention along with everyone else’s, and by the way, he drinks Heineken®.

The creators of the ad say that The Odyssey celebrates the premise that every man is legendary at something. The central character is played by several actors, chosen in open auditions for their unique talents and skills – because every man is legendary at something. Every woman, too, but this one is about men. Get the message – it’s a great self-esteem booster.

In the words of Sandrine Huijgen, Heineken® Global Communications Director…

“Our Legends campaign is an entertaining homage to our drinkers and their legendary behaviours. We are convinced that many of our drinkers out there have at least one legendary talent. They just need a chance to show it to the world. This is why we decided to offer our next film, The Odyssey, as an opportunity for 20 young men to show us what they’ve got. And they are all legendary.”

So let’s go straight to the commercial…

Seems legit.  Especially the dry hair when he comes on board from below. But not everybody agrees. Some people have taken to criticizing the authenticity of the commercial. So Heineken® has taken to the airwaves to fight back. Here is what they have to say…



In fact, if you want to see the casting films of each of the actors, there is an interactive video that shows them all on Heineken®’s interactive Odyssey video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZFiup2LIcSQ&feature=youtu.be

The Odyssey follows neatly the earlier “Voyage” campaign, in which Heineken® drinkers were also cast as “legendary”. They were drop-shipped into the middle of nowhere and amazingly found their way home. Without even a seagull to call on for assistance.

This post is sponsored by Heineken®, but the opinions are all my own (mine, all mine!). So let’s take out our lobsters and raise a bottle to them for such an entertaining experience.

The Odyssey Poster

Here is the campaign poster for The Odyssey.
Just like a movie.