Heineken offers a free trip to the Champions League – in the cruelest of ways

“Heineken: The Beer That Gets You Fired” … is not the slogan of the Dutch brewer’s latest advertising campaign.

Instead, they’ve gone for the more prosaic “Champion The Match,” making this the latest lager commercial with a reality TV concept.

Perhaps they’re taking inspiration from Anheuser-Busch’s interactive Super Bowl effort, when a horse and a puppy fell in love, drank a Bud Light and became mayors of a town called Whatever USA, if I remember rightly. But perhaps I don’t remember rightly, as I was drinking quite heavily at the time I saw it.

Here’s the plan: Americans enter a grocery store which, in a curious business decision, only appears to stock one alcoholic beverage (clue: Heineken). They are confronted with a sign offering two directions: Watch the Match or Go To Work.

Obviously, rather than fulfill their employment obligations, earn money to feed their families, pay taxes and be productive members of society, the randoms choose Watch the Match. They head to a fridge, pick up a card, and magically, out of nowhere, Ruud Gullit appears, wearing clogs and an orange wig, riding a bike and eating space cake. Or… some woman in a puffer jacket turns up and offers the bemused civilians – one of whom we’re meant to believe is a Roma fan – the chance to fly to Europe that night and watch Barcelona in the Champions League.

The catch: they must convince their boss to come with them. Right now. Cue awkward phone conversations. Of course, a lucky few are able to persuade their bosses, get the dream trip and everybody’s happy. It’s the losers you wonder about. What happens when they get back to their miserable, soccer-free, not in the Nou Camp, cubicles?

  • Their boss now knows they’re the kind of person who’d skive off work on a whim, just because some lady who stands next to a fridge in a grocery store asked them to;
  • The employee now resents their boss for denying them the soccer vacation of a lifetime;
  • The employee gets fired for watching the Barca game on his computer at work, weeping like a baby, distracting co-workers by humming the Champions League theme tune and cluttering his desk with empty bottles of Heineken.