The recent Pepsi ad where Kendall Jenner wins over police officers at a Black Lives Matter-type protest with a can of Pepsi was widely lambasted for being completely tone-deaf (Stephen Colbert called it “Attractive Lives Matter”). Still, surely we can all agree with its intended message of fostering peace and harmony, even if Pepsi’s approach so wildly missed the mark. A new ad from Heineken called “Worlds Apart” takes another stab at it, and very simply and succinctly accomplishes what Jenner and all those hundreds of Pepsi street-activist extras could not.
The ad presents three pairs of people (not actors) offering opposing views―a misogynist and a feminist; a climate-change denier and an environmentalist; someone who’s for transgender rights and someone who’s not―and puts them in a real, not staged social experiment, where neither person knows anything about the other. The pairs are tasked with building some barstools, then a bar. They’re then asked to reveal some traits about themselves, as well as some things they think they have in common. When everyone’s original opinions are revealed, the results are extraordinary.
As HuffPost notes, “The ad’s message of finding common ground through conversation is more than just a nice idea―it’s backed up by a well-researched concept called contact theory, which posits that contact with groups from different backgrounds can increase tolerance.” The world is fairly divided right now, and this quietly effective ad argues that, instead of fighting those whose opinions differ from our own, a better solution would be to sit down with them and engage—preferably over a Heineken.