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Why Heineken's cider hunks will never reach British TV

Category: It`s interesting to know 
2009-04-14

Heineken has wound back the gender-equality clock in a TV campaign for cider featuring four apple-picking, shirtless hunks singing a boy-band tune – but it is an advert that could never be screened on UK television.The Dutch TV campaign for a female-targeted cider, designed to appeal to women's "evolutionary instinct to discuss, judge and select attractive men", cannot be screened in the UK because it would fall foul of a swathe of advertising rules that forbid linking alcohol to sexual attractiveness and prowess.

"The four singing hunks do not address women as the usual stereotypes of house wife, sex kitten, blonde bimbo or business bitch," Heinenken states in a press release. "Instead the ad aims at a more elementary level of their femininity, the evolutionary instinct to discuss, judge and select attractive men."

The TV ad, which features as many cheesy, gratuitous shirtless shots of four singing hunks as is feasibly possible in 60 seconds, has been made by the Dutch-based agency Pink and Poodle, which says it specialises in targeting hard-to-reach groups such as "women, youth groups and subcultures".

The agency claims that the campaign, for cider drink Jillz, which features plenty of sexual innuendo such as shots of the fizzy drink bolting out of the bottle, aims to turn the "alpha male"-dominated work of the ad world on its head.

The ad, which breaks across the Netherlands tonight, couldn't be more different from the mellow cider campaigns of, say, Magners approved by advertising watchdogs for UK audiences.

"Watching it [the ad] could be an ego-crunching experience for beer bellies everywhere," the release claims. The soundtrack sung by the hunks is a remake of Fresh by Kool & The Gang.

This is a trial launch, and Jillz may be launched in other European markets – just don't expect to see this ad on a TV screen near you.

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