Watch Neil Patrick Harris Get Harassed By Beer-Ad Fans in New Heineken Light Spot
The actor continues his work as a pitchman for the light beer with the brand's new money-back guaranteed campaign.
Neil Patrick Harris is an Emmy- and Tony-winning actor who recently hosted the 2015 Oscars. But to a group of fans in a new Heineken Light commercial, he's just the guy from those beer ads.
In a new long-form video debuting online today, Harris is at the grocery store when several fans, including some store employees, approach him as "the guy from the Heineken ads." Some of the employees even call him "Neil Patrick Harold." Harris' frustration builds over the course of the two-minute spot. He ultimately rejects a request to announce that the store's selling Heineken Light, slamming a six-pack that was handed to him onto the shelf, only to have the entire display come crashing down.
"I can probably find the time to make one announcement," he says sheepishly.
Heineken senior director Quinn Kilbury tells The Hollywood Reporter that there was a fair amount of improvisation in the long process of filming that video, with both the part about fans not knowing his name and the display-collapse finale not turning out entirely as they were written.
"That concept is pretty ludicrous, that people would be noticing Neil specifically for his Heineken Light ads," Kilbury says. "We're aware of that, and we wanted to be sure that it was fun and it was funny, and Neil loved it and had a lot of fun with it."
He adds: "[Both of those moments] were somewhat scripted, but what we ended up with at the end was not what we intended at the beginning. It was funnier the way it ended up playing out. Neil probably gave 30 versions of the way people wouldn't know his name. And we had to play around a little bit with the Heineken bottles falling and the way he presented that. It's not normal for brands to drop their products in a commercial."
The video is a follow-up to a 15-second TV commercial also launching today, in which Harris introduces Heineken Light's new money-back guarantee, for anyone who doesn't think it's the best-tasting light beer. Both ads are the latest projects in Heineken's ongoing partnership with Harris, which launched last July with ads poking fun at restrictions against drinking beer on camera.
Kilbury says the relationship has gotten more collaborative. The first campaign was much more scripted with the second getting more input from Harris.
"Our agency, Wieden+Kennedy, will share concepts months in advance and … you end up seeing a lot more of his voice," Kilbury says. "He definitely had his own thoughts on the script going into it, and he had his own thoughts during the actual shooting that made it a little more fun. If we end up working with him more in the future, which we think would be great, we'd like to go more in that direction."
Watch both of Harris' new ads below.