Heineken Let a Stranger Drive You Home

Heineken does their bit for responsible drinking in “Let a Stranger Drive You Home”, a television commercial directed by Stacy Wall. Partygoers sing their way R&B way home in the back seat of a stranger’s car.

Back seat singers in Heineken commercial

Two men (Christopher Lee and John Nicholas) and two women (Alin Sumarwata and Beth Levis) cruise through the city at night, singing along to Biz Markie’s 1989 track, “Just a Friend”. When it comes the time for the chorus, “You, you got what I need”, the taxi driver (Timm Cooney) turns up the volume and joins in. Maybe he recognises the sample from the original song, “You got what I need” performed by singer/songwriter Freddie Scott in 1968.

Click on the image below to play the video in YouTube


Stranger Drive You A Home was developed at Wieden+Kennedy, Portland, by executive creative directors Mark Fitzloff and Susan Hoffman, creative director Joe Staples, copywriter Ian Fairbrother, art directors Jimm Lasser and Max Erdenberger, agency executive producer Ben Grylewicz, agency producer Hayley Goggin, associate producers Natalie Montgomery and Juliana Montgomery.

Filming was shot by director Stacy Wall via Epoch Films, New York, with executive producers Mindy Goldberg, Doug Halbert and Charlie Cocuzza and producer Timory King.

Post production was done at The Whitehouse Post by editor Lisa Gunning, assistant editors Rachael Connelly and Eileen Miraglia, producer Justin Kumpata, executive producer John Myers, VFX producer Casey Conroy, night-time producer Steve Tiseo, online editors/Flame artists Brian Shneider and Shelly Dutcher.

Audio post production was done at Lime Studios by Loren Silber.

Music, “Just A Friend” by Biz Markie, was licensed at Agoraphone by music supervisor Beth Urdang.

  • Bob

    Love this commercial, I may even consider buying a Heinekin just to sing some old school Biz Marque

  • Biz Markie

    Other websites are stating that Wayne Knight (i.e., Newman from Seinfeld) is the taxi cab driver. Duncan, thank you for the accurate information! Alin and Beth are hot.

  • Gary J.

    Truthfully, I think it’s awful. Let a stranger drive you home? Uh, no thank you.


    • Gary. That’s the point. The cab driver is the stranger!

  • chad

    The blonde lady is gorgeous and her enthusiasm is awesome. I’d marry her

    • CV

      I hear her name is Beth Levis. how does one find out what she’s doing these days for work ?

  • eric

    Love the commercial.
    The fact that the cab occupants are singing off que caught my eye to the commercial. Then the panning to the cab…and the song…and then the cab driver sings in tune….”i.e. he is not drunk”……

    Then the “Let a Stranger Drive”…

  • PJ

    Love the commercial except for one thing…it definitely RIPPED OFF mine and my friends spring break. Here’s the story: We were at Robert Browning Pub on Warwick Ave. in London in March. It was after the tubes closed down so we walked through the nearby middle eastern district to get some food and find a ride home. Our song that we sang the entire week even before we left the states for England was as you guessed it, “just a friend”. So we were definitely singing it that night and it is even on video. We also sang it in the cab ride back to Bayswater. True story. I just hope if this is connected to this commercial that someone is living the life right now.

  • Jack

    I have my doubts about the taxi driver being identified as Timm Cooney. I can’t find pictures of Timm Cooney so I can’t compare him in the video.

    I can tell you that the driver looks somewhat like the actor, Eddie Barth, from the first couple of seasons of Simon & Simon as his character is Myron Fowler.
    You can see and hear him around the 5 minute and 35 second mark on the following video:

    The taxi driver’s voice is very similar. A perfect match, in my opinion. Familiar raspy voice.

    Here’s a photo of Eddie Barth:

  • Al

    Not such a great idea. Especially if the chicks are drunk and in a cab by themselves…