Heineken just made their own version of that awful Kendall Pepsi ad, but it’s actually pretty great


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Heineken just made their own version of that awful Kendall Pepsi ad, but it’s actually pretty great

Pepsi: ‘You can’t touch politics in advertising’ Heineken: ‘Hold my beer’

There’s a good, respectful, woke way to tackle current political issues while trying to sell your product, and a way to fuck it up. And Pepsi illustrated the latter perfectly with their who-the-fuck-thought-this-was-a-good-idea Kendall Jenner ad earlier in the year (you’ve probably repressed the awful memory of it until now).

After Pepsi’s monumental fuck up it would be understandable for most companies to refuse to touch politics in their commercials, but Heineken’s new ad is a perfect example of how to do it right.

  • In a four minute YouTube video aimed at showing how people who seem worlds apart can actually have more in common than we think, Heineken give a subtle, nuanced look at the political issues that Pepsi bungled through with all the grace and decorum of a reversing dump truck.

    In it they place “new right” wing sympathisers with feminists, environmentalists with people who don’t believe climate change exists, transphobic cis man with a transgender woman. It allows them to air their controversial opinions before switching it up, asking them to describe themselves and try to think of three things they have in common. They reveal that they’re ex-military, that they’ve suffered homelessness, that they can listen to each other and be respectful.

    At the end of the “social experiment’ the pairs are allowed to choose – either they leave or they sit down with their opposite to discuss the issues they differ on. Unsurprisingly, all choose to stay.

    The ad could have been over the top, it could have been uncomfortable to watch, it could have been a bit cheesy and try-hard. But it nails what it’s trying to do exactly. Which is why unlike the reaction to Pepsi, Heineken’s response has been unanimously positive. Well almost.

    Some have attacked it for being clumsy and, like Pepsi, derivative when examining issues people die for in the real world while trying to sell beer. But compared to watching Kendall Jenner handing a cop a soda to end police brutality and racism, it’s definitely a step in a better direction.

    I like to think I’m pretty cynical but it was hard not to be impressed and maybe even a bit emotional watching it. Maybe I’m just hungover.