Heineken’s Most Recent Ad is, Surprisingly, Saying A Lot...

Heineken’s recent ad is, surprisingly, saying a lot...

There has been a lot of reaction surrounding Heinekens recent ad, as they launch their #OpenYourWorld campaign; where, instead of young attractive white people dancing around to thumping music, or a bunch of rowdy ‘geezas’ being blessed with a lifechanging sip of beer, it follows a very different approach. It certainly makes a change from a previous Heineken ad, where a couple’s ‘dream rooms’ are created; the woman’s, filled with shoes and clothes, the mans, filled with, you’ve guessed it, beer. Instead, the new ad uses the beer as a tool to get two very differently minded people to sit down and talk casually to one another. When you draw a comparison with the recent Pepsi ad, where a privileged white woman uses a Pepsi to find an answer to a political protest, Heineken’s ad sends a nicer, stronger message of equality. I mean yes, the ad it is demonstrating the capitalist mindset that this one consumer product can enable some form of bettering to the world, however it is ultimately designed to sell beer, so we’ll let them have it.

It starts with video diaries being shown to us, with individuals declaring their political and social views on the world, the videos, juxtapose each other for example, a right wing, ‘meninist’ airs his views followed by a woman, who is clearly promoting the idea of equality. Simultaneously, we are seeing those same individuals taking part in an exercise where they must work together, each in pairs, to build a bar (a beer related object of course, it is Heineken). On my first viewing of the ad, I cannot deny, I was quite intrigued; the audience are put in a superior position and are thinking; ‘this eco -friendly activist has no idea he’s working with a bloke who we’ve just seen bashing the idea of climate change! What on earth will happen!’

After they successfully manage this task, it is then, the video reveal, where the ‘oh god, I’m standing next to a sexist lunatic’ or ‘shit, probably not the best thing that this transgendered woman just heard me boldly claim genders can basically only be binary’ moment comes.

What I like about the ad is that it doesn’t pretend that everyone is as forward thinking and all after the same things in society, as we know from our recent choice to exit the EU and our current governmental positon. Although some may argue that the extreme views represented do not deserve air time, I disagree, and think that the ad demonstrates that; clearly these views are out there, lets address them, not hide from them.

They are then invited to stay and ‘discuss their differences over a beer’ if they wish, which, obviously they all do, as it is a staged advert, however this notion does send out a nice message. Discussion is a key way to enable change, the beer is not a not at all a vital factor here, (bar to sell the product) but the ad does promote the idea that shouting your beliefs from the roof tops, and shunning those who disagree, won’t help anyone.

I feel that, regardless of it being presented through the domain of an ad, the message that people get is a warming, uplifting one and I believe it is relevant to what our current society is going through today.

 By Chloe Lewis

Image is a screenshot of hte advert in discussion: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wYXw4K0A3g&t=2s