Sold?: How Shirley Bassey made a beer bottle’s life important

March 10, 2009 by  
Filed under Features




There are many times when watching telly that I can’t quite work why the ordinary-looking stuff I’m watching suddenly seems really bloody important. (Don’t say it’s God, it’s not)


Sure, it kind of makes sense when it’s Barack Obama’s inauguration or a documentary about dying children. I even welcome the odd joy-surge when the fictional protagonist of a movie is about to fulfil their lifelong ambition, but when it’s an advert about the journey that a bottle of Heineken takes from the factory to the grips of whoever drinks it and I feel the little hairs on the back of my neck stand up, something’s afoot.


I’m excited…and kind of weirded out. As Captain Zap Brannigan of Futurama might say “you’re confused and arous-“…well something like that.


Trying to match the, granted, fairly attractive but positively nondescript footage of green bottles being picked up and put down in front of me with this urge to get up and sing at the top of my lungs about how empowered I feel, I realise – by Bassey – it’s not the holy-spirit come to bless me in robes branded with Heineken. I’ve once again fallen victim to..da-daa-daaaaaaaaaa….the Soundtrack Effect.


Using Shirley Bassey’s powerful classic “This is my Life? makes this new advert for Heineken. That one directorial decision (probably made by some guy in a very short space uniform) has cheekily transformed the life of a beer into something meaningful where “every drop? has to be treasured using the power of song and I’m gob-smacked. (I was so taken with it that I even went and downloaded the track after watching the ad. I’d say that is advertising in action but I didn’t buy any beer…hmm…)


Seriously, turn the sound down and watch it in silence or while playing Liam Lynch’s “United States of Whatever?…nothing?…thought not.


Susan Allen