Heineken's Fun Rugby Ad Looks at Couples Who Are Enemies on Game Day

Set to Soft Cell's pulsating 'Tainted Love'

You support England in rugby, but your true love roots for Ireland. You could break up, cram all your worldly possessions in an SUV and hit the road. But that seems a tad extreme. For most fans, anyway.

Why not grab some Heinekens and enjoy the game instead, letting Soft Cell's synth-pop earworm "Tainted Love" set the mood for your star-crossed rivalry?

That hypnotic track drives the brewer's short film below. Dubbed "Perfect Match," it's a frothy confection featuring three couples resplendent in the colors of their favorite teams. At home and in local watering holes, they savor each other's company, in a manner of speaking, while watching the pitch action unfold.

So, Ireland wins, and now that Brit booster has to walk home. Tough luck, loser, that's how they roll in Irish commercials!

"Walk into any Irish pub on match day, you're bound to see couples sitting at the same table supporting different teams," says Peter Dobbyn, senior copywriter at Publicis Dublin, which developed the spot with director Karien Cherry. "We thought there was a lovely tension there that we could draw on. Your partner may be your perfect match, but when your two teams come head to head on match day, love goes out the window and they are the enemy."

In the ad, we also watch fans don the gear and colors of Irish provinces Leinster, Munster and Connacht—as well as Racing, a team from France. Those squads compete in the Heineken Champions Cup, and the spot hypes the brand's long-running sponsorship of the sport.

"This work plays on the common belief that opposing team fans are always friendly with one another and never engage in anything less than good natured banter together," Dobbyn says. "Heineken brings a fresh perspective to that rugby trope by not shying away from the real moments of rivalry felt amongst fans while the match is in play, no matter what their relationship."

As for the Reagan-era song selection, "the sentiment is bang on," says Dobbyn. "Not only does it aid comprehension for the viewer, but it also really helps drive the pace of the edit. It was important that we had some nice edit points in there too, like the sound of the percussion matching the chest thump on the English rose."

A few months back, Molson skated in with somewhat similar work exploring sundry "complications" of Canadian hockey fandom.

CREDITS

Agency: Publicis Dublin / Publicis WW
Campaign: 'Perfect Match'
Advertiser: Heineken
Brand: Heineken

Local Creative Team
Board Creative Director: Ger Roe
Senior Copywriter: Peter Dobbyn

Global Creative Team
Global Chief Creative Officer PWW: Bruno Bertelli
International Coordination Creative Director: Guy Lewis
Associate Creative Director Publicis Italy: Livio Gerosa

Local Client Service Team
Business Director : Jimmy Murphy
Senior Account Director: Ruth McCormack
Global
Global Client Service Director: David Pagnoni
Global Strategy Director: James Moore

Local Agency
Head of Production: Niamh Skelly
Head of Strategic Planning: Chloe Hanratty
Head of Digital: Ed Melvin

Local Client/Brand team
Heineken® Ireland Marketing Director: Wojciech Bogusz
Heineken® Ireland Marketing Manager: Mark Noble
Heineken® Ireland Senior Brand Manager: Ronan McCormack
Heineken® Ireland BTL Activations Manager: Heather McAree

Global Client/Brand team
Global Senior Director Heineken® Brand: Bram Westenbrink
Global Integrated Communication & CMI Manager Heineken® Brand – Daniela Iebba
Global Communication Manager Heineken® Brand: Tanya Lubis

Production Company:
Outsider
Director: Karien Cherry
Outsider Producer: Simon Elborne
Service Production: Giant Films
Giant Producer: Jon Ronbeck
DOP: Adam Bentel
Edit: Kobus @ Deliverance
Post Production: Black Ginger

Sound
Folding Waves / Will Farrell
Track: Tainted Love by Soft Cell

Other Credits:
Art Director: Lucas Oliveira
Account Executive: Alana Ryan
Assistant Producer: Claire Boylan
Digital Production team: Cian McIntyre, Cormac O' Connor

Brand Text
Octagon
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David Gianatasio
David Gianatasio is senior editor at Clio Awards.

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