of advertisers who developed this ad, the Dublin-based McCann Erickson group. With theGuinness ad, I will once again correlate the music with the visual drama, and also drawattention to the way in which this ad draws upon particularly Irish images and meanings sothat Guinness is seen to be a symbol of Ireland, especially in relation to the Irish diaspora inAmerica.T
he Heineken commercial entitled “Life of a Green Beer Bottle” was in circulation on
Irish television in early 2009. The ad was created by McCann Erickson, Dublin, and featured
the song “This is My Life” by Shirley Bassey. The choice of music is far from incidental, but is
essential to the effect of this ad, and is one of the main vehicles of its symbolic meaning. Wearrive on the scene of a party in full swing at twilight, yet we do not hear any music playingin the background, only the heightened sounds of voices. The absence of music here isworth mentioning because it sets the beginning of the ad apart from what follows, themajority of the ad containing music. At this point we are clearly in the world of normalhuman sociability. In this way the introduction of the music is far more dramatic, as it not
only signals the beginning of the ad’s main dramatic content, but transports us to th
eimaginary world of conscious, living Heineken bottles. An inconsiderate bystander hascarelessly knocked one particular bottle from its pride of place at the top of a shelf, while asecond man (another Heineken bottle in his hand) attempts to rescue the falling beverage.
The camera zooms in on the bottle and we are then shown, in flashback form, the “life” of
the bottle, which amounts to the series of events in the production and distribution of thebottle of beer, with the Bassey song playing in the background.