Would anyone really question the fame of either Heineken as a beer or Benicio Del Toro as an actor? The former is a 143-year-old brand sold in 192 countries, while the latter is both an Oscar winner and cult film favorite. Nonetheless, both seem to be going through a bout of low confidence as the beer brand’s newest global campaign stars Del Toro in a decidedly self-deprecating role.
The main spot of the campaign, by agency Publicis Worldwide, sees Del Toro mistaken for none other than Antonio Banderas. Could this possibly ever happen? Hopefully not, but it’s a welcome sight to see Del Toro flex his spokesperson skills for the first time. Heineken’s vice-president of marketing Ralph Rijks says that while Del Toro is famous, he isn’t an overexposed celebrity.
“We wanted someone, who like the brand was known, but whose deeper backstory and history, much like Heineken, needed to be told,” says Rijks. “Benicio’s global appeal and bilingual skillset offered us great versatility, and we were really pleased to work with him.”
Publicis Worldwide chief creative officer Andy Bird says it may not be the most obvious choice, but Del Toro is a perfect fit. “We chose Benicio as he’s one of the greatest actors in the world, and he’s respected globally much like Heineken. Also he’s got a real mischievous side to his personality and doesn’t take himself so seriously, which allowed us to play with his backstory and have some real fun with the new campaign,” says Bird.