Posted: February 24th, 2023

The Heineken “Worlds Apart Experiment”

The Heineken “Worlds Apart Experiment” is a social experiment and ad campaign created by Heineken in 2017. The experiment involved bringing together pairs of people with opposing views on controversial issues, such as climate change and immigration, and challenging them to complete tasks and discuss their differences over a few days. The goal of the experiment was to show that despite having different beliefs, people can still find common ground and have meaningful conversations when they are open to listening and understanding one another.

The experiment was captured on film and used as part of Heineken’s “Open Your World” ad campaign. The ad campaign aimed to promote the idea that Heineken is a brand that brings people together and encourages open-mindedness and understanding.

The experiment received both praise and criticism from the public. Some applauded Heineken for attempting to promote dialogue and understanding between people with opposing views, while others criticized the experiment for being superficial and not addressing the deeper issues at play.

The Heineken “Worlds Apart Experiment” was a unique and controversial marketing campaign that aimed to promote the idea of coming together and finding common ground, despite differences in beliefs.
Resource: Heineken ‘Worlds Apart Experiment’
#OpenYourWorld Synopsis: The Heineken ‘Worlds Apart Experiment’ is an advertising campaign that uses a social experiment to bring together two strangers with opposing world views over a pint beer. The short film starts with everyone in the experiment privately stating their very strong point of view such as a climate-change activist and a climate-change denier. They then have these two strangers meet and subsequently bond over building a bar. Near the end, the individual pairs are shown this footage and revealing their directly opposing views. They are then told they can walk away, or discuss their differences over a pint of beer. All pairs are then shown discussing their views and opening up to each other about themselves. The hope of getting these much divided groups to come together and find common group is achieved. This campaign was created by Publicis London, and also includes a partnership with The Human Library which is a not-for-profit organization that lends out ‘books’ in the form of a real person from a challenging backgrounds for conversations or debates in the hopes of finding common ground through conversation. Link to Resource: Relevance to Marketing: Companies are now expected to be socially conscious, unlike years ago when businesses only had to focus on making a profit. Organizations know that they need to be involved in social issues and dedicate some of their time and resources into helping these issues. Social Marketing is a great way to achieve both helping social causes and simultaneously advertise their product and increase brand awareness and revenue. The underlying principle to social marketing is exchange theory were a new behavior that the company wants to promote has a higher value than maintaining status quo. The advertisements essentially call people into action to help improve the world while also ingraining into people’s minds that the brand is a caring and socially responsible one. The principle of advertising a behavioral change that is seen as beneficial to a consumer, also motivates them to share the advertisement with family and friends on social media and the advertisement is then shared at no additional cost to the company. Discussion Questions: 1. A major benefit to social marketing is that customers are not only captivated to watch the advertisement intently for the duration, but to also pass along the message to family and friends over social media, thus increasing brand exposure and awareness. As someone who has most likely seen these types of social marketing campaigns and a current business student, have you seen these types of advertisements and did you pass along the video over social media because you enjoyed the message, and were you consciously aware of the tactics the company was using? 2. Do you think it is socially responsible for large corporations to use important social issues to sell products? While they are kind of appropriating these issues for their own gain, they are also creating awareness for the issues and most times raise money to help the issues

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