Can we really hash out our differences over a beer, a cuppa, and some casual conversation?
I think the answer is yes we can, and Heineken’s new raw, real, and suspenseful ad campaign shows us just this! It’s beautiful, inspiring, and brings hope, showing us that advertising can in fact be used for good.
Heineken’s brand new #OpenYourWorld campaign is the exact opposite of what we’ve come to expect from decades of traditional beer ads.
The premise of the new ad is fantastic: get two people who disagree with each other on a particular hot button issue—such as climate change, politics, feminism, or transgender and LGBTQ rights—place them in a room together, and let them get to know one another a bit before showing them they stand on polar opposite ends of the spectrum. And then let them talk it out over a beer.
The kicker is that they have no idea they are sitting with someone who completely disagrees with them until a few minutes in! They are then shown a video where their contrary opinions on these hot button issues are brought to light and they are given a choice in the heat of emotion: leave or talk it out over a beer!
As someone who firmly believes that most of our differences come from a lack of communication and understanding, I agree that the idea behind this ad could very well be a solution for judging others. When we just talk to one another, we often see that the world is not so black and white as our egos would have us believe.
There is a massive gray area between black and white, and when we come to understand this, we find connection with one another. Keeping ourselves locked away in little protected boxes prevents us from experiencing the beauty of our diverse world, and we fall prisoner to judgement and close-minded thinking.
In fact, a number of studies have shown that brief and casual in-person conversations with someone who holds an opposing viewpoint is one of the easiest paths to changing someone’s mind!
The best moment for me was when the man who openly expressed his anti-transgender opinions during his video interview first walks out on the the transgender woman and then comes running back saying, “I was only joking.” This moment gave me goosebumps and hope for humanity yet.