The Heineken Cassette
|A poster and some of the beer cans|
In 1986 EMI Parlophone in the UK put together a promotion with Heineken, unusual for the fact that the Beatles have rarely lent their name to brands for advertising purposes.
Specially printed cans of Heineken beer were made, featuring a red triangular banner across the top that said “The Beatles – A Unique Cassette”, in white, bold capitals. Around the bottom, the Beatles’ first names, in capitals, in white on a red background, repeatedly circled the entire can. The cans came in two sizes : 275ml and 440ml of beer. The can was available only in Great Britain.
By sending in four special ring pulls from the cans and a crossed postal order or cheque for £2.99 (£2.49 + 50p P&H) made payable to “Heineken Beatles Offer”, consumers received a special copy of a unique EMI compilation cassette titled “Only The Beatles…” (Parlophone/Stiletto SMMC 151). You could apply as many times as you liked. The offer ended on June 30th 1986 and production started on July 1st.
The cassette claimed to include two tracks that had not been previously made available in stereo, but only “Yes It Is” lived up to the hype as “This Boy” was in fact mock-stereo. Copies were sent out with a gift card, of which there were two versions – the green card came with Heineken’s logo on the front whilst the red version had a picture of the Beatles on both the front and on the inside.
|The cassette cover (front)|
Love Me Do
Twist And Shout
She Loves You
Eight Days A Week
All My Loving
Ticket To Ride
Yes It Is
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds
And I Love Her
Strawberry Fields Forever
|The inlay card (continued from front)|
The compilation was ℗ &© 1986 for Stiletto Limited, 122 Holland Park Avenue, London W11 4UA, with project realisation by Paul Watts (Stiletto) and Norman Bates (EMI).
|The back of the inlay card advertised The Beatles’ catalogue of albums.|
Not happy with the arrangement, Apple Corps Ltd sued over it on the 18th of July, 1986, EMI got cold feet and the promotion was halted quite swiftly, thus rendering the cassettes valuable.
In 2007, UK magazine “Record Collector” reported that it had been rumoured that a large cache of cassettes were found in the late nineties, so there are probably more of these cassettes in circulation than previously thought. Thus, a cassette can be bought for £5-10 GBP whereas the promotional beer cans are usually more expensive – unopened even more so! Full packages of the cassette, the promo poster, gift cards and beer cans are commanding higher prices than each item in itself.
|4 cassettes in the original cellophane and a used beer can went for $68.22 USD on ebay in September 2014.|
The cassettes were originally sealed in packs of 20 in this cellophane wrapper.
Finally, PoggMeister sent us some pictures of a cardboard sales presenter featuring a pop-up of the Beatles. Here they are:
|The Beatles pop-up on the left side.|