Ad of the Day: Heineken Gets Holiday Revelers to Sing Karaoke for 30,000 Strangers

Would you say yes to this?

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Depending on your views (or ability to carry a tune), karaoke can be a fun way to let loose among friends or a guaranteed path to total embarrassment. This year, in the name of holiday cheer, Heineken helped realize the very worst fears of those in the latter group.

Working with Wieden + Kennedy in New York, the brand invited a bunch of people—presumably plied with promises of unlimited Heineken—to participate in a delightful holiday evening of "Carol Karaoke." But unbeknownst to these poor schmucks, Heineken's henchmen have hidden a TV studio behind a curtain in preparation to broadcast the performances live in Times Square, on taxi screens around New York and on the Jumbotron at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C.

After a few rounds of "Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer" and "Jingle Bells," Heineken reveals the ruse, and gives the karaoke-ers a choice: ditch the mic, or continue singing the carol … for 30,000 strangers.

These people were already naive enough to have agreed to "Carol Karaoke" (seriously, who does that? You go to karaoke bars to sing "Baby Got Back," not "Little Drummer Boy"), so it's not much of a surprise that a good number of them are more than willing to share their vocal talents with thousands of people. Equally unsurprising is that none of them are very good singers. (Although mic drop guy is admittedly pretty awesome.) At least the Wizards fans appear to have gotten some mild amusement from the whole thing. 

But you know what? It's not about talent. It's about the holiday spirit! (And also marketing stunts.) Because as a wise elf once said, "The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear."


Client: Heineken

Project: Carol Karaoke

Agency: Wieden + Kennedy, New York

Executive Creative Directors: Ian Reichenthal and Scott Vitrone

Creative Directors: Erik Norin & Eric Steele

Copywriter: Will Binder

Art Director: Jared White

Producer: Orlee Tatarka

Executive Producer: Nick Setounski

Head of Content Production: Lora Schulson

Account Team: Patrick Cahill, Samantha Wagner, Kristen Herrington

Business Affairs: Lisa Quintela

Production Company: M ss ng P eces

Director: Josh Nussbaum

Executive Producer/COO: Ari Kuschnir

Executive Producer: Kate Oppenheim

Executive Producer: Dave Saltzman

Line Producer: Tory Lenosky

Director of Photography: Adam Jandrup

Editorial Company: Joint Editorial

Editor: Kelly Brickner

Post Producer: Michelle Carman

Post Executive Producer: Michelle Carman

Editorial Assistants: Jess Baclesse / Stephen Nelson / Kadie Migliarese

VFX Company: Joint

VFX Lead Flame: Yui Uchida

Telecine Company: Company 3

Colorist: Tom Poole

Mix Company: Plush NYC

Mixer: Rob Fielack

@adweekemma Emma Bazilian is Adweek's features editor.
Publish date: December 12, 2013 © 2020 Adweek, LLC. - All Rights Reserved and NOT FOR REPRINT