Heineken’s "Let a Stranger Drive You Home" Ad is Causing Spontaneous Karaoke Displays.

So I’m sitting at a bar in D.C. on Thursday. The Lakers-Nuggets game is on half the TVs. The Canes-Pens game is on almost all of the rest, except for one lone screen in the far corner, which is showing the Orioles game 1.. The basketball game goes to commercial, and suddenly, the booth next to ours breaks out into song. There is no karaoke machine nearby, and they’re not singing along to the music playing in the bar.

And just when I’m about to give up, I look up at the TV hanging over their booth. A taxi driver wearing massively oversized glasses is singing on screen.

It’s at that moment that I realize the booth next to ours is singing along to a Heineken commercial, even though the TV is muted.

Sure, Budweiser might’ve blown a few million on ads during the Super Bowl, and Miller might’ve generated some buzz with their one second ad, but it’s Heineken — in, of all things, a PSA for designated driving — that has the best new beer ad of 2009 2..

When an ad campaign can vault a song from 1990 3. into the iTunes top ten — hell, when bar patrons are compelled to sing along to a television on mute — then it’s doing something right.

I’m just not sure what that something is yet.


1.) A trick question: The Washington Nationals are playing a game that’s broadcast on television. A sports bar in Washington, D.C., has over 50 televisions. What is the likelihood that a single television at the bar will be showing the game? (Actual answer on Thursday night: zero). >return to article

2.) Dos Equis’ “The Most Interesting Man in the World” ad — which also broke out this year, thanks to a few quotable lines — actually launched in 2007. >return to article

3.) It’s been a big month for Biz Markie. He’s also gotten involved in former Democratic National Committee chairman Terry McAuliffe’s Virginia gubernatorial campaign. >return to article

For some background about the ad, click here.