Is This One of the Best Beer Commercials Evah?

The new James Bond film Spectre will be released next month and, as with the 2012 release of Skyfall, Sony pictures has partnered with Heineken to promote both products.

The beer ad in 2012 was extremely clever and inventive (a brief cameo by Dr. No superimposed on the image), but had precious little of Daniel Craig, the actor currently playing Bond.

The 2015 ad has a high-speed boat chase; a beautiful girl on a water ski caught up in the action by accident; cameos by Herve Villechaize, the midget in Fantasy Island, and Scaramanga’s valet Nick Nack in The Man With the Golden Gun; and a nod to a couple of other Bond films. See if you can catch them:

But Bond selling beer? I’m sure purists are aghast at the idea that Mr. “shaken, not stirred” vodka martini would stoop so low as to sell anything but vodka. As Ad Age points out, Sony does, indeed, have a deal with a vodka maker:

The Dutch brew has once again lured the British agent into a TV commercial, or at least the guy playing Mr. Bond in the upcoming “Spectre” movie, actor Daniel Craig.

But that doesn’t necessarily mean Mr. Bond — who’s mostly closely associated with martinis, shaken, not stirred — is going on a beer-only diet. The movie also has a deal with Belvedere vodka. But for its Bond ad, the Polish vodka brand had to settle for an appearance by Mexican actress Stephanie Sigman, who plays Estrella in the opening scene of the flick. It is also unclear if Belvedere will be featured in the actual film, which debuts in the U.S. on Nov. 6.

Heineken, on the other hand, says it is the only “Spectre” marketing partner that has Mr. Craig in an ad tied to the flick. He also appeared in a Heineken ad in advance of 2012’s Bond movie, “Skyfall.” Heineken will also be included in the actual movie, “Spectre,” a brand spokesman recently confirmed to Ad Age, although he did not provide specifics. The beer is using its Bond partnership to underpin its “largest global marketing platform of 2015,” according to a statement.

The production values for the commercial are off the charts — especially the water ski stunts. There’s also a playfulness to the ad that hearkens back to the Roger Moore days of a more cheeky Bond which is missing from the 2012 version

But where the ad succeeds brilliantly is in simply making you remember what they are trying to sell. So many commercials — especially beer ads — try to be clever and end up obscuring the product they’re trying to sell. Not so in this case.

Besides being hugely entertaining, the commercial does its job. For that reason, one could argue that it’s among the best beer ads ever created.

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