The company is earning praise for its #OpenYourWorld campaign...
You'd think after the tsunami of negativity that hit Pepsi recently when it unveiled an advert featuring Kendall Jenner offering a soda can to a riot police officer, companies would be steering clear of political messages at the moment.
Heineken, however, has doubled-down on looking at the deep divisions that can be seen in global society – and suggesting that sharing their particular beverage can make go a long way towards healing them – with its new #OpenYourWorld campaign.
Most surprisingly, its 'Worlds Apart' advert pulls the "socially aware" angle off with such aplomb that it is already winning near-universal praise.
The commercial pairs people who are polar opposites when it comes to their beliefs on transgender rights, climate change and more and sets them tasks as part of a "social experiment".
This essentially involves assembling a flat-pack bar and having a bit of chat, before the real-world views of their partner are flashed up on the wall. They then have to decide if they want to stick around and have a pale Dutch lager with their ideological nemesis.
Can two strangers with opposing views prove, as Heineken puts it, that there’s more that unites than divides us?
Have a look...
In the wake of its release, the derision, anger and parodies that followed Pepsi's now infamously hamfisted attempt to co-opt the US Resistance movement have been noticeably absent.
Instead, the beer company and Publicis London, the advertising agency responsible, have actually been earning plaudits – no mean feat when it comes to social media.
The ad is the first part of Heineken's UK-focused 'Open Your World' campaign, which it says is striving to "promote openness".
Apart from ‘Worlds Apart’, the campaign includes a study let by Goldsmiths University on the Science of Common Ground; an employee ‘Mix It Up’ campaign and Facebook Chatbot that connects people from diverse backgrounds.
Heineken is also partnering with The Human Library, a not-for-profit organisation that uses conversation to challenge stereotypes.
Every "book" in The Human Library is a real person with an extraordinary background, from street sleepers and refugees, to transgender and people with life-changing illnesses.
Cindy Tervoort, head of marketing at Heineken UK, said:
“Open Your World is the first-time Heineken has launched a campaign of this nature in the UK. Joining forces with The Human Library is a way for us to inspire more people to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us.
"We don’t all support the same football team, listen to the same music or share the same taste in clothes. We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground.
"Whether it’s 1950, 2017 or 2027, being open lets us get more out of life. It makes the world a more interesting place. And it makes every story worth listening to.”