Integrating socio-political ideas in branding and marketing still receives mixed receptions from consumers. Pepsi’s marketing arm could agree to that. Their new ad fronted by international supermodel Kendall Jenner received backlash for being tone deaf about ‘post-racial’ America. Touching on sensitive matters such as discrimination and the activism that surrounds it is a risk. But sometimes, one brand could get the message right that goes beyond just promoting a product. That brand is none other than Heineken Beer with their newly released ad.
In addition to their newest slogan called #OpenYourWorld, Heineken just released ‘World’s Apart’. Created by Publicis London, it’s a social experiment video content in attempts to unite two strangers with opposite social views in life. It involves these strangers working on furniture as if they are roommates and then getting to know more about each other afterward. All of these people don’t know anything about the other’s social-political views. But the audience watching this ad does and most could say it’s the perfect counter-point to Pepsi’s recent attempt.
“It’s been a process of about six months to deliver this campaign, and it began with the realization that perhaps we’re not as open as we all think. We’ve got used to only hearing views that are the same as our own in our cozy echo-chambers, and that results in people becoming more polarized and divided. At times we’re all guilty of labeling people based on their views, rather than understanding the person. Heineken wanted to challenge this.” Cindy Tervoort, Heineken’s UK Marketing Director, explained to FastCompany in their recent interview.
“It is better to engage, rather than to pretend our differences don’t exist.” She answered when FastCompany asked about their most significant consumer insight. Maybe the ad world could take that tip to the bank when integrating such matters with their branding.