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Genius Heineken advert teaches Pepsi a lesson in social awareness…

Heineken's new Worlds Apart advert is grabbing headlines around the world today and rubbing salt in Pepsi's wounds after the soft drink manufacturer's disastrous Kendall Jenner protest advert.

Heineken's ingenious advert, which is currently trending at number two on YouTube, has capitalised perfectly on the feeling of division that pervades the world at the moment. A host of recent political events like; Donald Trump's election victory and controversial reign as president, Brexit, the rise of extreme Islam, the far right political movement sweeping the world and the global reaction, or inaction, to the Syrian refugee crisis have served to create divisions among us.

The Dutch brewing giant astutely picked up on this sentiment and created an advert which addresses the differing viewpoints that exist around feminism, transgenderism and climate change – all of which have been put in the spotlight by Donald Trump's divisive comments and policies in recent months.

The advert/experiment brings together three pairs of strangers who, unbeknownst to each other, have diametrically opposed ideologies.

The pairs work together on a small task then share a bit about themselves with each other with the aim of finding some common ground.

Their contrasting viewpoints are then revealed and they must decide whether to part ways or discuss their differences over a beer…

The video fits in perfectly with Heineken's 'open your world' tagline and the brand's "worldly, open-minded and confident personality".

It's a stark contrast with Pepsi's recent abomination which saw Kendall Jenner put an end to police brutality by handing a riot police officer a can of Pepsi.
The advert sparked the wrath of the internet with social media users lambasting it as tone-deaf and trivialising the Black Lives Matter campaign. Pepsi consequently pulled the advert and was forced to concede it "missed the mark".

Social media is a cruel mistress and these cases highlight the need for socially appropriate communications. There can often be a chasm between what creatives like advertisers and marketers think makes for good content and what public relations professionals know to be appropriate. At the risk of coming across as the fun police, consulting with you PR team is a must in today's world, particularly given the backlash that awaits on you on social media if you get it wrong! The rewards await you when you get it right.

Heineken anyone?

For public relations assistance, feel free to get in touch with The Clarity Business on 09 950 2690, on LinkedIn or via Twitter @ShapeTheMessage.

By Daniel McCabe