On the face of it, William Wordsworth and Heineken® beer make an unlikely combination, but a little piece of advertising history brought the two together in 1982.
The global beer brand and its then advertising agency Lowe Howard Spink decided to feature Wordsworth, his iconic opening lines to “I Wondered Lonely as a Cloud”, and the stunning backdrop of the lake district as inspiration for the latest in their already successful “Heineken refreshes the parts other beers cannot reach” commercials. The now legendary series of commercials were originally conceived by the advertising copywriter Terry Lovelock for the Collett Dickenson Pearce agency, and ran from 1974 for nearly 30 years.
The idea conceived by Lovelock was that Heineken® could bring unique refreshment to the body and to the mind, and even today are cited by many as examples of how great advertising should be done.
As the adverts gained popularity, the creative team wanted to find an imaginary example of where the beer had inspired a great work of art from history. In the light hearted parody that was broadcast on TV and in cinemas across the UK, we hear William Wordsworth trying to compose his famous poem, but he can’t quite get it right!
Over the stirring strings of Elgar’s Nimrod we hear William muse “I walked about a bit on my own, Oh no! I strolled around without anyone else. Oh dear oh dear no!”
We then see his lakeside picnic that includes a cold glass of Heineken®, he takes a sip and then writes the poem as we all know it today. “I wandered lonely as a cloud. That floats on high o’er vales and hills.” We then hear the voiceover say triumphantly ‘Only Heineken can do this because it refreshes the poets other beers cannot reach’.
The Wordsworth Heineken® commercial was directed by Bruce Brown and written by Geoffrey Seymour.