Goodfellas actor stars in new Heineken TV ad

Heineken is employing gangster-style tactics in a new TV campaign to enforce the message that it is now available as a 5 per cent premium lager.

The spots, developed by Clemmow Hornby Inge, feature Ray Liotta, the star of Martin Scorsese's gangster movie Goodfellas. He plays a hardman, who wakes up a man in the early hours of the morning to reprimand him for not finishing his pint in the pub a few days before.

Liotta escorts the man to the Heineken brewery in Holland to demonstrate how the lager has changed from a 3.4 per cent ABV to 5 per cent, as it is abroad. However, the frightened man gets the wrong idea and drinks the dregs of his old pint.

The ad breaks on 4 June on TV and will run later in the month on cinema screens. Media is through MindShare.

The campaign forms part of a £25 million marketing programme, including £7.5 million media spend, to raise awareness of the lager's new strength.

The ad was written and art directed by Tony Barry at CHI, directed by Bryan Buckley of Hungry Man and filmed in New York.

Liotta said: "The idea of showing up on someone's doorstep at 3am and berating them for not respecting the beer kind of appealed to me."

Leslie Meredith, the Heineken UK marketing director, said: "We've come a long way in a short time since we relaunched Heineken last year. Our new ad continues to build the message to drinkers and shoppers that Heineken has changed from the product they knew over the past 30 years into the premium quality, authentic import lager it is today."