Mourinho Stars From the Couch in Heineken Ads

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Jose Mourinho

Photographer: Michael Regan/Getty Images
  • Heineken’s biggest ever ad campaign stars coach in slippers
  • First tournament without a Mourinho-coached team since 2004

For the first time since winning in 2004, Jose Mourinho will be a bystander for the duration of European soccer’s Champions League. Manchester United failed to qualify for the premier club tournament before Mourinho took on the head coaching job in May.

The Portuguese coach -- among the highest-paid in all of soccer -- will still get plenty of TV time during the tournament. Heineken NV has created a massive ad campaign that stars the coach as a beer-drinking, couch-sitting, every-fan.

“The entire story we’re telling is about him watching Champions League in his house telling the fans to get involved,” Anuraag Trikha, Heineken’s global brand communication director, said in an interview. “It’s going to work to our advantage maybe.”

For Heineken, in the 11th year of its Champions League agreement, the tournament represents its biggest sponsorship. The championship attracts about 1 billion viewers around the world, and Trikha said this year’s ad campaign will be the brewer’s biggest yet, expecting it to reach as many as 130 of the 192 countries where Heineken is present.

In the ad titled Prep Talk and directed by Guy Ritchie, Mourinho wears a suit and tie and stands atop a rooftop on a stormy night, urging fans around the world to switch their televisions on, before taking a swig of beer. Then he calls his pet terrier Sausage, and the camera pans down to his feet: the coach is wearing a pair of slippers.

“It’s definitely our most vocal attempt to try and persuade the fans of the world to try and make Champions League an appointment,” said Trikha, adding that with Mourinho, known for his touchline antics and acerbic barbs, the campaign “will definitely get the most amount of polarization in terms of love and hate.”

(Corrects spelling of Guy Ritchie’s name.)
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