Crack a Cold One, Talk It Out

April 26, 2017

 

Heinekin Beer has just launched a new “Open Your World” campaign which offers the simple (and simply brilliant) notion that the best way to deal with our differences is to sit down and talk them out.  And while we’re at it, why not crack open a nice cold brew!

 

In partnership with the non-profit Human Library, Heinekin is seeking “to inspire more people to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us.”

 

In stark contrast to Pepsi’s recent ad fiasco, in which Kendall Jenner waltzes into a tense standoff between police and protesters and saves the day by offering one of the cops a cool refreshing soda, Heinekin’s campaign-kickoff ad feels authentic and emotionally resonant.

 

In the new ad, which is entitled “Worlds Apart: An Experiment,” three sets of strangers are videoed as they enter a warehouse and follow a set of instructions that guide them through simple collaborative tasks.  The strangers know nothing of each others’ backgrounds or views, but we are provided snippets of pre-recorded interviews which inform us of their perspectives and indicate that the participants have each been paired with ideological opposites.

 

After a series of tasks and some basic introductions, each pair is asked to open a box which contains a cooler of Heinekins, and then to turn their attention to a screen which plays clips of the partners’ interviews and reveals the stark differences in their worldviews.  One pair is sharply divided over feminism, another over environmental issues, and, in the most moving pairing, over gender identity.

 

In the awkward moments that follow the revelation of their differences, each pair is offered the choice to either leave, or to sit down and discuss the issue over the provided drinks.

 

Cheers to Heinekin for a such a thoughtful and provocative campaign!

 

In the meantime, while Pepsi’s recent campaign faltered for its contrived and plastic depiction of recent tensions and issues, the thematic underpinnings are not so far off from what Heinekin has pulled off successfully.  While Pepsi was forced to pull the ad amidst a universal backlash and barrage of mockery, in our opinion at least, the company should likewise be commended for attempting to draw people together in these contentious times.

 

If we consider the recent “Filter Your Feed” campaign by Brita (which we wrote about here), that makes at least 3 major brands that have launched campaigns around the subject of more positive communicaton within the past month.  The polarization of society and the contentious rhetoric of current social discourse is so apparent, and so obviously deleterious, that it is seeping into our pop culture with increasing urgency.

 

Whether any of these campaigns will lead to greater civility and cultural understanding remains to be seen.  But the message is clear – whether accompanied by purified drinking water, soda, or lager, many of us are thirsty for greater understanding and reconciliation.  We’ll drink to that!

 

Watch the Heinekin “Worlds Apart” ad by clicking here or clicking the image above.

 

Watch the Pepsi “Live for Now Moments Anthem” ad here.

 

Sign up for Brita’s “Filter Your Feed” app here.

 

(Thanks to Commoner Brandon Kamin for brining the Heinekin ad to our attention)

 

Marc Erlbaum, Contributor

 

 

 

 

 

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