Through New Year's, we'll be counting down the best work of the year in TV/Film/Branded Content, Print/Outdoor/Design and Interactive/Integrated (IX) as our picks of the day.
At No. 8 in the TV/Film/Branded Content category is Heineken's "Worlds Apart," a social "experiment" created out of Publicis that showed how people with vastly differing points of view (a feminist and an anti-feminist, a right-wing man and transgender woman) can actually bond after they're given a simple task that requires them to work together--assembling flat pack furniture. While some might argue the idea feels a bit forced, it hit a cultural touchpoint in a year that's been marked by extreme divisiveness -- one that gave new dimension to the brand's ongoing "Open Your World" campaign.
Heineken brings together strangers with directly opposing beliefs and points of view and gets them to build a bar together in a "social experiment" designed to overcome barriers in an overly polarized world.
The film, directed by Toby Dye of RSA for Publicis London, sees three pairs team up; a climate-change denier with an environmental activitist, a transgender woman and a right-wing guy who thinks it's "wrong," a feminist and an anti-feminist. They're challenged with assembling some flat pack furniture and then a bar, as well as discussing each other's personalities (but not beliefs specifically).
It's only after they've worked together are they shown a film of the other person discussing their beliefs. They are then given the choice either to walk away or sit down and have a beer with the other person. Their reactions and expressions seem authentic -- and in a world where we're told we're all existing in social media echochambers, the film shows the power of actually connecting with people in person as opposed to trolling them online.
As part of the project, which forms part of Heineken's ongoing "Open Your World" campaign, Heineken is also partnering with The Human Library, a not-for-profit organization that uses conversation to challenge stereotypes. It's also launched a Facebook Chatbot that connects unexpectedly like-minded people from diverse backgrounds, and will hold internal "Mix It Up" sessions, where Heineken staff from its offices and breweries across the UK will be encouraged to spend time over a sandwich or beer with people in the organization they haven't met before.