Heineken International, Pool


A Scottish father and son play pool at a pub as the son flatly announces that he's gay. Without flinching or missing a beat, the father says, "Ah, that's all right, son. That's your decision. It's the '90s after all. Your shot."

The tagline: "How refreshing, how Heineken."

In its neutral handling, this commercial is by far the most positive of three that the company has aired. Two American spots have a more negative connotation to the gay theme.

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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User Comments
I loved this advert, and I love Heineken adverts in general anyway. Good show!

It's hard to figure out if this commercial is a good one or not... The father's total acceptance of his gay son is great, but the line about it being his 'decision' supports the myth that sexual orientation is a decision.

I like this ad a lot!

Scott Smith
Simple, direct, and shows that the father loves his son no matter if he is gay or straight.

John Bowman
I like the Dad.

I enjoyed the fact that the father immediately accepted his son. However, the word "decision" implies that the son can chose his sexual orientation, or who he loves, which will not be favorable with the target audience (LGBT community).