Mastering the brand challenge – authenticity & heart {Heineken Ad}

Is there more that unites than divides us?

Participant A: “I would describe myself as a feminist, 100%.”
Participant B: “Feminism today is man hating.”

In keeping up with our daily dose of media, it can feel like our differences are so great and so hopeless to bridge that perhaps we just let this bridge burn (in a brilliant, brilliant inferno).

But a new Heineken ad is taking a stand – and we’re watching. More akin to performance art than advertising, the new campaign Worlds Apart: An Experiment addresses the ways in which we relate to each other amidst our lively political climate.

Two strangers (with VERY different views) are led into a room where they work together to build an IKEA-esque bar. It’s followed by a Q&A where they ask each other a series of meaningful questions, such as “Describe what it is like to be you in 5 adjectives.”

A moment of tension follows when the participants watch a prerecorded video of their political opinions. “I don’t believe that climate change exists” discovers he has just built – well, not a bridge, but a bar – with “We are not taking enough action on climate change.”

Then, the participants (no longer strangers) are invited to either stay and drink a beer together…or leave. And, spoiler alert, THEY ALL DRINK BEER!

The #OpenYourWorld campaign seeks to demonstrate that we are more than this polarization. That there is more that unites us than divides us. And that sometimes, all we need to find common ground is a willingness to talk about it over a beer.

Watch the full video here:


Authentic brand messaging – the key to connect

Heineken has successfully pulled off a brilliant example of capturing the human spirit while selling a product. Campaigns that capture the heartbreak and joy of the daily human experience can be tricky, as proven by the poorly executed, tone deaf ad Pepsi recently unveiled. Pepsi seized the moment, but failed to recognize the true spirit of the resistance movement. The result was an ad that co-opted and minimized the passion and pain of protesters, drawing all the wrong kind of attention.

For brands, the key to campaigns that speak to the essence of the human experience is authenticity. Do you truly understand how your customers’ lives are made more joyful, meaningful and connected through your products or mission? When you connect with these emotions, the rewards can be great. We encourage all our clients to seek the authentic voice of your brand, and to speak to the heart and soul of the people you are trying to reach.

When we love the challenge and embrace the uncomfortable, it becomes a way of life. We are all likely to face opposition for causes we care about deeply, and it’s never easy. But behind every opinion there is a person…with a face, a name, a family, loves, fears, a history… all of these complexly and beautifully intertwined. When we open our world, we have everything to gain.

Thanks for reminding us, Heineken! We’ll drink to that.

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