Paul Simons: MAA blast from the past – Heineken

Heineken 1985 by Lowe Howard-Spink

I joined Gold Greenlees Trott (GGT) in 1984 and found a place with widely diverging social backgrounds from Dave Trott’s proletariat view of the world versus my assistant Bella who was from the Hanson family, owning a brewery amongst other assets, posh school and from the Sloane Square set.

I first saw this new spot for Heineken one evening at home and collapsed in laughter because it reminded me of what it was like working at GGT. (A day or so after starting at GGT someone knocked on my office door and said “There’s a man in reception in a sherbet for you.” I didn’t have a clue what he was talking about*. I did learn that the movie The Blues Brothers had made a big impression on the staff at GGT that had led to the adoption of Cockney rhyming slang for some reason.

The Heineken spot is a classic piece of social differences amplified to create comedy situations as in Only Fools and Horses. The young lady being trained for a part in EastEnders (one Sylvestra Le Touzel in real life) can’t crack the accent, then has a swig of Heineken, then gets it right. The funniest moment is when the office boy, a bit of a geezer (“Get your laughing gear round this”) congratulates his boss for succeeding with the Sloane Ranger only for his accent to switch to posh boy. Very funny.

After watching this spot a few times I started wanting a cool can of Heineken.

* A sherbet is a taxi derived from the rhyming slang of sherbet dab (confectionery) meaning cab. Dog and bone, frog and toad and all that stuff.


  1. Shame Paul didn’t know that was a great CDP ad, not Lowe Howard Spink

    That ad followed in the footsteps of the great Penelope Keith ad for Parker pens and another anarchic ad for Harvey’s Bristol Cream.

    CDP were always great at taking the piss out of the sloanes.

  2. Not sure about that Chris. The writer was Adrian Holmes – where were you Adrian?

  3. Paul was correct. It was Lowe by then, part of Frank’s escape kit when he quit CDP. One of Adrian’s best!

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