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Company: Heineken
    View Company Scorecard / Contact Company
Brand: Heineken
Ad Title: Wrong Bar
Business Category: Alcoholic Beverages
Media Outlets: Television
Country: United States
Region: North America
Agency: Wells Rich Green BDDP
Year: 1996
Target: Mainstream
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Theme(s)

GLBT Punch Line

Theme Breakdown

AdRespect Score: 
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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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Jim Walsh , unknown
The two guys in the Halsted Street bar aren't saying anything bad about gays, just that they're in the wrong bar. What's negative about that? To me, the most anti-gay thing in that ad is the idea that there are still bars in big cities playing Bronski Beat.

John , Canton, OH
I agree with Jim, I thought it was very non-offensive, very humorous. I loved it because this actually has happened to a few of my straight friends, and even happened to me when I was in Europe and still in the closet. After two hours it was our girlfriends who noticed that they were the only girls in the bar. Funny how, years later, all the guys with me in that bar with their girlfriends, including myself, except one, are now gay.

Darus Walls , Milwaukee
I hope "Heiny" can come up with something better than this. IF not..that's a few less dollars from my budget to theirs..oh and all my friends, too.

Gus , Columbia, MO
Yea, the booze companies love to make fun of us in their commercials. Then they buy a full page ad in OUT, slap a rainbow pattern behind their logo and act like we should worship them.

Anthony St. , Vancouver
Am I the only one who sees the possible subtext of the guy in the blue light trying to find out if the guy in the red light is a member of the same "Family" as he and "Account Services Frank"? Just a thought guys. Discuss.

Max Shultz , Antioch, CA
This ad is not good, but it's not dreadful, either. My biggest thought was, "there's no gay bars that still play Bronski's Beat!"

Pieter , Utrecht, Netherlands
This ad is not homophobic. It's just about heterosexuals who happen to be in a gay bar. I don't believe Heineken has anything against gays. They're one of the most famous Dutch companies in the world and headquartered in Amsterdam.

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AdRespect Score:

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