Marketing “near beer” certainly has its challenges. Rather than approach the life choices that might lead someone to reach for a non-alcoholic brew, O’Doul’s famously positioned itself as “What Beer Drinkers Drink When They’re Not Drinking Beer.” Dutch pilsner pusher Bavaria, however, is brazenly banking on the recovery angle (and recovery’s newly red hot mascot) in its latest campaign.
Charlie Sheen, recently rated safe for advertisers again, stars as himself in the company’s latest spot. In the ad, created by Amsterdam-based agency Selmore, the staff at the rehab clinic sees Charlie off to the first day of the rest of his life as a sober man in the world. “Let’s not have a drink soon,” the actor says on the way out. The opening strains of “Bang a Gong” in the background as Sheen starts his car up provide a clue that this new lifestyle will not go down as smooth as a bottle of suds.
Re-entering the world sober soon proves to be a Twilight Zone twist ending of an existence, as everybody around Sheen who should not be drinking beer (motorists, visibly pregnant ladies, on-duty cops) all seem to be reaching for a cold one. Sheen looks to be shaken to his core by this paradoxical predicament, but luckily the commercial takes place in a world where everybody is psyched to be drinking beer with a 0.0% alcohol percentage.
Watch another ad below that winkingly trades on Sheen’s real-life troubles.