Stella Artois 4: shit drink, great adverts

First things first: I don’t drink Stella Artois. To be honest, I don’t usually drink lager, or beer, or any other alcoholic beverage that’s served in a pint glass. Actually, that’s a lie. I’ve been known to order (and consume) pints of vodka, champagne and Red Bull on nights out – as well as pints of Baileys. And then there was that time I went to the Guinness festival and drank my own body weight in the Black Stuff, but you know what I mean.

I’m saying that I’m not one of those girls who tends to enjoy a pint through choice. Unless I’m at a festival. Then cider (classy) is my new best friend. If you’re wondering, my usual tipple is a voddie with (just a splash) of coke.

Right, glad that was a really concise introduction to what is essentially quite a vague post anyway. Basically, I’ve come to the conclusion that I want to live in the Stella Artois 4 adverts. Now, I know Stella is a beverage usually associated with wife beating and the like – and that’s precisely why I think Mother – the ad agency responsible for the stuff I’m talking about – has done such a sterling job. And by that, I don’t mean glamourising domestic violence, nuh-uh. I mean that I’m a girl (well, I was the last time I looked, fnar, etc) who doesn’t drink lager yet I’m engaged with their super slick ’60s style adverts which have been running since 2008-ish (I think).

The one by the pool

Pool scene. Man in skimpy swimming trunks (hel-lo). Offers to apply sun tan lotion to woman lounging in her bikini, as you do. She is enjoying the massaging-in rather a lot when her husband arrives and in the ensuing altercation our ‘hero’ tumbles down the mountainside. He’s caught up in a series of clothes lines on the way down, and finds himself fully suited by the time he hits the ground, so coolly walks into a bar and orders a Stella 4 AKA a ‘smooth outcome’. Angry Hubbie arrives at the door as he drinks it and eyes him suspiciously, especially when he notices that he is wearing red stilettos.

My observations: how the bloody hell does she look so immaculate next to the pool? How has her eyeliner not smudged nor her hair gone beach barnet frizzy? I also like the group of girls at the end (want their collective outfits please) and also: the man is really hot. Who is he?

The playing car swapsies whilst driving round a mountain one

Click the vid title to watch…

In this ad we see our slick protagonist cheerfully driving down a coastal road in an old truck with a cargo of chickens.  He drives up alongside a rich older man and his trophy girlfriend in their sports car but as they enter a series of tunnels, several swaps ensue – girl in boy’s truck; boy and girl in sports car; girl swapped for chickens – which the boy later trades in to buy himself a refreshingly smooth pint of Stella Artois 4.

My observations: my least favourite but points awarded for the girl’s wide headband action and the man’s ability not to get chicken shit on his white suit. Next!

The ice sculpture contest / Christmassy one

An ice carving competition is shown as it progresses into the night in a French town. The fine work of two of the contenders results in a full size grand piano and an artistic rendition of a Christmas tree, but the winner makes a complete set piece of a chaise longue, table, occupied fish tank, fire place and an ice bucket with a bottle of Stella Artois beside two glasses. This is to demonstrate the care and dedication that go into crafting Stella Artois – the beer originally crafted for Christmas, apparently.

My observations: her fabulous pillar box red double breasted jacket and the fact she doesn’t get snow on her beehive, looking a lot like dandruff. AND she doesn’t fall over on the ice. The bitch. Also the man is hot (with incredibly cute dimples).

The runaway piano one

A man helping to unload a piano from the back of a pickup is distracted by a girl passing on a bicycle, and drops his end of it (so to speak). The piano rolls off down the hill pursued by another man, who catches up with it inside an antiques shop, emerging the other side sitting on a wheeled chair and playing it as the journey continues into a mall, where the man hijacks a white baby grand and continues playing. It ends with the man and piano joining a jazz quintet and ordering a Stella Artois 4 from the bar.

My observations:  Apparently it was shot in Cuba. The girl at the end is gorgeous, as is her powder blue mini dress and l-o-n-g hair. Oh, I like the man’s guns, stubble and quiff, too. What?

The girl-getting-ready-for-a-night-out one

This one was based on the Stella Artois ‘nine step serving ritual’, comparing them to the steps a lay-dee takes to prepare herself for a night out on the tiles by way of a multi-screen blah. Shot in an evocative 1960s cinematic style accompanied by Brigitte Bardott’s Ne Me Laisse Pas L’aimer, it was an instant ‘win’ in my book.

My observations: I want to be this lady, and to not leave my flat in a Tasmanian devil style whirlwind as I’m running an hour late, with my dress firmly tucked into my knickers. Plus, her eyeliner’s amazing. Le sigh.

The man running through a train one

This is the latest advert – a faded colour 60’s style film shows a man at a railway station eyeing up a gorgeous gal stepping into a first class carriage as the departure whistle blows. Raising an eyebrow (I love people who can do that!), he boards the train at a third class carriage, and by a series of subterfuges and identity thefts works his way up to first (I believe they call this *ahem* upward carriage mobility in the trade), where he presents a drink to the woman and orders a Stella Artois 4 from the bar. The narrator introduces the lager as being triple filtered with a smooth outcome.

My observations: the leading lady’s super orange shift dress, fabulous hair and cute head scarf.

Seems I’m not the only one impressed with the super-slick style of the Stella Artois ads. Oscar winner Aidrien Brody even starred in a US ad aired during last month’s Super Bowl. The actor plays a crooner in an underground jazz club in the early ’60s. Though the club is filled with beautiful women, it transpires that the real object of his affection is a glass of Stella. See it for yourself here.

So whilst I’d certainly like to live in the cool French Riviera world of the Stella Artois ads, with their ’60s styling and super-smooth fellas, I guess the closest I’ll get is drinking the bloody stuff for now. And though the adverts have certainly given me an unusual affinity with the brand, I’m more likely to shoot myself in the stomach with a flare gun than drink that pissy brew. Shame, that.

Natalie Wall

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