Lager advertising was my route into all this. Between the ages of 18 and 22 the ads for Carling and Heineken made me want a career in advertising, and a decade later it was working on the ads for Stella Artois (back when when both the ads and the beer were good) and Heineken that lit my beer passion.
But I’ve never seen a campaign like this one for VB (sorry, embedding is disabled).
It’s discussed here by advertising online magazine Contagious, who show how it’s being elaborated with a website where people can send their own contributions, and encourages donations to the cause (I don’t want to give away the subject till you’ve actually watched it). The magazine also asks if the campaign is in good taste – it’s bound to attract controversy.
Part of me wants to be angry that big advertisers are trivialising something huge and emotive in order to sell beer. But my beer head tells me that’s wrong – this ad is all about beer, the beer moment, what beer means and what it’s for. No other drink (apart from, possibly, whisky) could even consider pulling this off, but it doesn’t feel false – it feels entirely appropriate.
And anyway, rational debate didn’t actually get a look in – this is the first beer ad that’s ever made me cry.