Heineken’s social experiment aims to get consumers to ‘focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us’

Heineken is highlighting its brand values of bringing people together socially in a new campaign featuring a social experiment that aims to explore if the benefit of finding common ground with one another can lead people to be more open.

Launched today (20 April) the Worlds Apart film puts together two real life strangers, meeting for the first time who are divided by their beliefs. Heineken is hoping to prove that people see past a label even the most divided groups can come together to find common ground, and hopefully over a pint of its beer.

As part of the campaign, created by Publicis London, the brewer has teamed with The Human Library, a unique not-for-profit organisation that uses conversation to challenge stereotypes. Every ‘book’ in The Human Library is a real person with a differing background – from street sleepers and refugees, to transgender and people with life-changing illnesses. Each ‘book’ can be loaned out for a conversation, a debate and a chance to find common ground. Heineken will be running a series of events across the UK, where the public can meet some of the ‘books’ including Wilderness Festival.

Speaking at an event yesterday Heineken marketing manager Nic Casby said that as people talk less and less due to factors such as the rise of technology the brand felt “incumbent” on itself to do something about it.

“We want to stand a bit in this campaign for empathy, tolerance and also the simple act of talking to one another and if that happens over a beer that’s great as well,” he said.

In addition to the Human Library partnership, Heineken is running internal ‘Mix It Up’ sessions, an employer brand initiative where Heineken employees from its offices and breweries across the UK will be encouraged to spend time over a sandwich or beer with people in the organisation they haven’t met before.

The brand has also created a Facebook Chatbot that connects ‘unexpectedly like-minded people from diverse backgrounds’. Users need to answer a few questions about their passions and the bot will create a own personalised film that shows what they have in common with those they didn’t expect.

Cindy Tervoort, head of marketing, Heineken added: “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.”

Edelman and Starcom were also involved in the campaign.

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Natalie Mortimer

I look after all things creative.

All by Natalie