Heineken brand director Nic Casby on a fun campaign with an important message by adam&eveDDB
Where would we be without bridges? They've an uncanny and very practical knack of bringing us, as people, together. Admittedly that's their sole purpose, but at a time when we seem to be hell-bent on becoming evermore divided, it's quite a profound thing when you begin to think of it. It's also the premise of this brilliant new Amstel UK campaign from adam&eveDDB.
The idea stems from Amstel's home city of Amsterdam, a city of endless canals and, as such, a lot of bridges. To up the bridge ante, Jeff Bridges was brought on board. The result is a zany, fun and quite silly campaign that keeps an important sentiment close to its chest.
To find out more about how it came to be, LBB's Addison Capper spoke with Nic Casby, brand director at HEINEKEN.
LBB> I know his name is perfectly suited to the idea, but why is Jeff Bridges a good fit for the Amstel brand?
Nic> Jeff Bridges is known for his wit and humour and he really brought that on set and to the advert, there wasn’t anyone else to consider for the campaign. We wanted to make the ad light-hearted and working with Jeff to talk about the power of bridges bringing people together was a great way to land this message.
LBB> What was the process like of getting him involved in the campaign? What were your first thoughts when adam&eveDDB initially approached you with this idea?
Nic> We wanted to find an aspirational angle and do something brave and culturally relevant that would land our message about bringing people together. Where better to do it than in the homeland of Amstel, Amsterdam the wonderful city of bridges. adam&eveDDB landed on Bridges on Bridges and took the messaging literally which we loved. Jeff Bridges was a natural fit for the campaign and so we approached him with the idea, and he loved it!
LBB> The campaign is comedic but at its heart is a message of togetherness and settling differences. What inspired this approach to the campaign and why is it important for Amstel to be involved in that kind of conversation in 2019?
Nic> We believe that life is more interesting when we come together and bridge our differences. As the bier from Amsterdam, the city with the most bridges, we wanted to demonstrate that Amstel celebrates the power of bridges to bring people together. Since 1870, when we were founded by two friends who wanted to create a better bier, we have always been about togetherness and this is what the ad celebrates.
LBB> And why was it right to approach that message in a comedic way?
Nic> We wanted to keep in line with Amstel’s tone of voice and bring a playful angle to the deeper messaging of championing togetherness. So a gigantic Jeff Bridges, literally bridging people together did this perfectly!
LBB> Were you at the shoot? If so, how was it as a whole? What are your fondest memories?
Nic> It was a great atmosphere and Jeff really brought the set to life adding his charm to the ad. Filming in Amstel’s homeland added authenticity to the ad that you can’t re-create. Watching from behind the scenes, and seeing the ad come to life through Jeff Bridges submerged to his chest in the middle of a canal was a highlight! The director, Tim Godsall and director of photography, Barry Ackroy, really are at the top of their game and worked incredibly well together to make the magic happen!
LBB> Why was Tim the right person to bring this big idea to life?
Nic> Tim is an award-winning director and there was no one better for the job, his work is outstanding and brought the script to life so well. He had worked with Jeff Bridges in the past too, so the collaboration was perfect.
LBB> The new spot is part of a wider campaign that brings together cinema, digital and the brand's biggest ever in-store activations. What can you tell us about these added elements?
Nic> The new advert will form part of a multi-million media campaign running from May to August 2019 across TV, cinema, VOD and digital channels. All our in-store activations will bring to life the platform of togetherness, for example our iconic sharing creates. In addition, each element will drive people over the Summer to pubs and bars across the UK. A big PR activation will also involve a few well-known faces to help mobilise the activation and get people talking over a beer.
LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
Nic> Making the advert feel natural and creating a gigantic Jeff Bridges was hard to do, the cinematography and direction of the advert was so important. We feel that Amstel’s tone of voice really comes through in the ad and we hope that this is conveyed to our audience through the messaging of togetherness.
LBB> Any parting thoughts?
Nic> Contact that old friend of yours, a family member you haven’t spoken to in a while or a neighbour that you’ve lived next to for years – you never know what friendship could begin over a beer.