The Gist: Heineken’s new “Worlds Apart” commercial was almost immediately compared to Pepsi’s less-than-popular Kendall Jenner ad. However, even though not everyone is a fan of Heineken’s new commercial, and some think Heineken’s ad may be worse than Pepsi’s, our preliminary data seems to signify that the beer brand will be safe from scrutiny.
You know light because it’s not dark, and young because it’s not old. The world is arranged by dichotomies, and advertising is no exception.
So, it should come as no surprise that Heineken’s new commercial was almost immediately defined in contrast to Pepsi’s – let’s say – misguided commercial. Our past research showed that unfavorable sentiment among people who had seen recent Pepsi advertising increased 3x in just the one day following the commercial.
If you haven’t seen Heineken’s new commercial – entitled “Worlds Apart“ – it intends to bring people together with vastly different viewpoints. A misogynist is paired with a feminist, for example, and a climate change denier with an environmentalist. Once becoming aware of their assigned partner’s sociopolitical views, the participants are given the opportunity to leave the situation, or sit down and discuss their differences over a cold Heineken beer.
After its release, the internet immediately lit up:
Heineken Just Schooled Pepsi on Ads that Tackle Social Issues (CNN Money)
Here’s How Heineken Made that Awesome Antidote to Pepsi’s Kendall Jenner Ad (Fast Company)
A New Heineken Ad Puts Pepsi’s ‘Protest’ Ad to Shame (Business Insider)
The list could go on and on, but it didn’t take long for the tables to turn.
In a recent HuffPo article, the author writes a harshly-worded article, questioning whether the opinions expressed in the commercial are opinions at all. She says:
“This commercial is the worst type of propaganda. It tricks you into thinking social problems can be resolved if only people tolerate their oppression just a LITTLE while longer. It pushes the idea that bigotry, sexism, and transphobia are just differences of opinion that are up for debate, and deserving of civil discourse and equal consideration…”
Do others feel the same?
Right off the bat, we can see that this commercial did not have as strong of an impact as the infamous Pepsi commercial – in a positive or negative way. 68% of American adults didn’t see the commercial, and the next largest group have no strong opinion.
However, of those who have seen it and do have an opinion, positive sentiment seems to win out – with 12% of adults holding a favorable view of Heineken’s advertisement.
So, for now, it seems that Heineken is safe from the wrath Pepsi recently faced, although some argue the company may be just as deserving.
Interested in other insights? Check out the 8 brands that may want to get involved in politics, the future of sparkling water, and why the New York Times owes Donald Trump a thank you card.