Heineken takes on politics with its anti-Pepsi approach

Heineken’s latest ad involves conversations with strangers and gets political in a way that Pepsi should consider for next time.

Heineken released a new ad targeting social awareness issues, putting Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner “protest” ad to shame.

Unlike Pepsi’s tone-deaf ad which used Black Lives Matter iconography and Kendall Jenner to suggest police brutality can be solved with the simple gesture of offering a carbonated beverage, Heineken managed to create a straightforward ad that gets right into the heart of political engagement. It makes Pepsi’s ad, which was pulled a day after its release and savagely criticised by audiences around the globe, seem even more embarrassing,

The ad, titled ‘Worlds Apart,’ pairs people who hold opposing views on hot-button social issues like feminism, climate change, and transgender rights.

The strangers, who have been selected for their political opinions, aren’t privy to what the experiment entails, nor each other’s views initially. They then go through a bonding activity before the big reveal. The pairs are then given a choice to stay and discuss their differing viewpoints over Heineken beers, or to walk away. All of them choose to stay and engage with each other.

One of the biggest political problems in post-Brexit UK, and post-Trump America, is the depth of our division. People with polarising views believe in their own opinions so strongly they are convinced anyone on the opposing team is the enemy. With the rise of social media and our ability to connect with anyone from anywhere online, matters are only made worse by the fact that these people with opposing views rarely get to meet outside of their Twitter and Facebook battlefields.

‘Worlds Apart’ takes on topical material that is impossible to fully explore in a meaningful way within the space of a beer commercial. By encouraging actual dialogue, Heineken has already proved the company is miles ahead in addressing our current international predicament than glamorising, fetishising, and whitewashing the protest movement.

The ad was posted on YouTube April 20, and had more than three million views as of Thursday night.

Watch the full ad below: