UK: Heineken’s sensitive beer ad contrasts Pepsi’s PR disaster

A new Heineken ad titled Worlds Apart is being praised online for taking on social and political matters. The new four-minute commercial developed at Publicis London features people who disagree on issues like feminism, climate change and transgender rights.

The Worlds Apart campaign demonstrates how to tackle sensible matters like tolerance and interaction with people with opposing points of view with great sensitivity, in contrast to Pepsi’s PR disaster with a commercial featuring reality TV star and fashion model Kendall Jenner (, 9.4.2017)

In Heinken’s commercial, real people meet for the first time for a “social experiment”. 3 pairs of people with opposing views are put inside a secluded room with construction tools and they are asked to assemble two stools and a bar. At the end they are shown a video which discloses their opposing views and the pairs are given the choice to go, or “stay and discuss your differences over a beer”.

All six choose to discuss the differences in a respectful way; one pair are even shown to swap numbers. The message is clear: “There’s no gap that can’t be bridged over a refreshing Heineken.”

Cindy Tervoort, Head of Marketing at Heineken UK says: “Open Your World is the first-time Heineken® has launched a campaign of this nature in the UK. Joining forces with The Human Library™ is a way for us to inspire more people to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. We don’t all support the same football team, listen to the same music or share the same taste in clothes. We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground. Whether it’s 1950, 2017 or 2027, being open lets us get more out of life. It makes the world a more interesting place. And it makes every story worth listening to.”

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