Wrong Bar

Brand: 
Heineken
Business Category: 
Alcoholic Beverages
Agency: 
Wells Rich Green BDDP

Two guys are sitting in a bar, the setting is "Chicago, Halstead Street" -- a famously gay thoroughfare.

Shouting over the pounding '80s disco of Bronski Beat, one guy says to his friend, "This is lacking, man. Who told you about this place?" The other says, "A guy at work. The music's great, huh?" The first then says, "We've been here an hour. Have you looked around lately? Where are the women, man??"

When the other says "Frank" told him about the bar, the first guy asks, "Accounts-payable Frank, or account-services Frank?" The answer is "Account-services Frank" and then the words "Whoops" appear, indicating the "gay" one.

This is the second American commercial from Heineken with a gay theme, both with a similarly uncomfortable take on the idea. A 1999 Heineken ad that ran in the UK took a more neutral approach to the subject.

Beer companies are well represented in The Commercial Closet, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry's longterm sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more often negative.

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