This New Heineken Ad Poignantly Illustrates How Easy It Can Be To Embrace Others’ Differences

"The productive thing to do would be to sit down and have a beer."

Heineken has traded in girls in bikinis and shirtless frat bros for a much more timely and thought-provoking message in their latest ad campaign that's just debuted in the U.K., and we're all about it.

The beer giant's #OpenYourWorld campaign is all about getting everyday people to do exactly that, and they've introduced the campaign with a poignant film. As explained on the Heineken website, the premise for the film is pretty simple — "Two strangers, divided by their beliefs, meet for the first time. Each knows nothing about the other or what the experiment will involve. Will they prove that there's more that unites us than divides us?"

The film, below, focuses on three pairs of individuals who are diametrically opposed on certain hot-button issues. One pair has opposite viewpoints on feminism, another can't see eye-to-eye on climate change, and the third has radically different stances on transgender rights.


To give you an idea of just how different these people's beliefs are, one woman tells the camera, "It's absolutely critical that trans people have their own voice," while the man she's partnered with declares, "That's not right. You're a man, be a man. You're a female, be a female."

Each pair is tasked with assembling stools, and building a bar, and as time passes we watch as they open up to one another. Just as they're about to sit down and share a Heineken, their dissenting viewpoints are revealed in a brief video. Each pair is then given a choice: walk away, or sit down and talk through your differences over a beer. We won't give too much away, but the pair who differ on transgender rights have a particularly enlightening and moving discussion.

While it may seem pretty simplistic to think you can just sit people down, give them a pint, and have them talk through their differences, evidence proves having a conversation with someone with an opposing stance is one of the most effective ways to change their mind. According to the New York Times, in a 2016 study researchers found doorstep canvassing has the power to shift views on transgender rights, making those who were once against them more open and tolerant in the long run.

That's why, in addition to the film, Heineken is determined to initiate and create social change in the world in real time. As a larger part of the company's #OpenYourWorld campaign, Heineken has partnered with The Human Library, a not-for-profit organization which seeks to challenge stereotypes by running events where you can talk to real people with extraordinary backgrounds.

The company has already scheduled two events in Edinburgh and Liverpool this summer where people will be encouraged to start conversations that aim to break down barriers and challenge social prejudices over a nice cold (Heineken) beer. Cheers to that!


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