Marvel Abandons Family-Friendly Image, Officially Promotes Beer

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A person with long, light hair and a beard drinks from a large mug of beer while sitting in a leather chair. The atmosphere is cozy and dimly lit, suggesting a bar or pub setting.

Credit: Marvel Studios

Marvel Studios has abandoned any pretense of trying to stay a family-friendly company and is endorsing a popular beer brand for the upcoming Deadpool and Wolverine.

Deadpool in red and black suit converses with Logan/Wolverine in a dimly lit room, adorned with lights, suggesting a casual, slightly tense atmosphere.
Credit: Marvel Studios

Along with its fellow Disney property, Star Wars, the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been about merchandising from the very beginning. While Star Wars‘ setting of a galaxy far, far away does not allow for much product placement, the MCU has leaned into highlighting everything from Burger King to Harley Davidson over the years.

Until now, Disney’s desire to stay nominally family-friendly seems to have kept the MCU from fully promoting alcoholic products. However, the franchise is now venturing into uncharted, R-rated waters with Deadpool and Wolverine, which will feature Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman fighting, swearing, and drinking in a very un-Marvel manner.

Two people, one in a red and black suit and the other in a yellow and blue suit, clink Heineken beer cans together outdoors. The background is blurred, suggesting a wooded area.
Credit: Marvel Studios/Heineken

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Unsurprisingly, Deadpool and Wolverine also has an official alcohol tie-in. Marvel has released a new teaser for the film that doubles as a commercial for Heineken Silver,  the light beer variant of the popular Dutch beer. A non-alcoholic version of the lager was also used in the promotional campaign for Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania (2023), while Sebastian Stan was seen drinking from a distinctive Heineken bottle in the Disney+ series The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.

The new spot for Deadpool and Wolverine, which is subtitled “World-Class Light Beer for World-Class Bubs” on the Heineken USA YouTube Channel, seems to repurpose a scene from the upcoming movie, this time with the addition of cans of Heineken Silver.

If the trailer/commercial can be trusted to be canonical (which it definitely can’t), Deadpool/Wade Wilson (Reynolds) and Wolverine/Logan/James Howlett (Jackman) are about to fight, until the X-Men member realizes that he cannot unsheath his iconic claws. Apparently, Deadpool has somehow managed to extract the adamantium from Wolverine’s bones and turned it into cans of Heineken Silver. It should be noted that previous attempts to extract the Marvel Comics alloy from the hero’s bones have turned out poorly for Wolverine, to put it mildly.

A can of Heineken Silver beer is on the left with its logo and "World-Class Light Beer" text beneath. On the right, there's a Marvel Studios "Deadpool & Wolverine" logo with the release date "In Theaters July 26." Nutritional info shows 2.9g carbs and 95 calories.
Credit: Marvel Studios/Heineken

In a joint statement, Ryan Reynolds and Hugh Jackman said, “One thing that Deadpool and Wolverine can agree on is that Toad is not in anyone’s top 10 mutants. But that’s not why you’re here. The other thing we agree on is that we’re happy to be entering the MCU with Heineken Silver. Nothing gets you through the long and frequently confusing days in the Multiverse like the crisp & refreshing taste of Heineken Silver.

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This Heineken Silver advertisement utilizes the convenient cheekiness of the Deadpool franchise to allow Disney to promote beer while not overtly outraging MCU fans. It also might have something to do with Marvel Studios facing rapidly diminishing box office returns in the last several years and Disney’s general financial woes that both have finally leaned into promoting alcoholic beverages.

VP of partnership management and operations for Marvel Studios, Holly Frank, also released a statement:

“We’re excited to be bringing Heineken into the MCU fold again. Heineken Silver is all about ditching bitterness, so seeing how Deadpool and Wolverine could potentially do the same in a spot made for an exciting storytelling opportunity. Plus, Heineken is giving fans more of what they want with this campaign – Deadpool & Wolverine!”

Wolverine and Deadpool stand in the middle of a deserted street, dressed in their superhero costumes, with a damaged pharmacy and debris in the background.
Credit: Marvel Studios

All that said, there is likely no combination of superheroes (or reluctant antiheroes) that Marvel Studios could select that would work better as a beer ad than Wolverine and Deadpool. While Thor (Chris Hemsworth) can smash as many beer mugs as he wants and Captain America (Chris Evans) can’t even manage to get drunk if he wants to, both characters are well known for their rowdy ways. Hopefully, parents won’t mind MCU-obsessed kids seeing two mega-popular characters hock beer on TV too much.

Do you think it is appropriate for Marvel Studios to promote alcoholic beverages? Tell us your thoughts in the comments below!

Deadpool & Wolverine is currently scheduled to hit theaters on July 26. The film stars Ryan Reynolds, Hugh Jackman, Emma Corrin as Cassandra Nova, Matthew Macfadyen, Morena Baccarin as Vanessa, Leslie Uggams, Karan Soni, Brianna Hildebrand, Aaron Stanford, and Jennifer Garner.

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