Beauty and the Best - How Heineken Goes Beyond Face Value to Engage

Peter Haslett
Peter Haslett
June 16 2 min read

Acceptance. Tolerance. Inclusion. These are hot emotional topics these days when uncertainty reigns. It made me think about a few ads aired where brands have sought to take a stand.  

Coke and Airbnb are clear cases of beautiful videos with a clear message most of us probably want to buy into.  Unfortunately, they under-deliver on engaging viewers emotionally (positively or negatively) ... to get attention; hold it; and ultimately leave a positive lasting impression.  Instead, these ads are more like wallpaper.  We agree it's lovely when it's pointed out to us.  But otherwise it doesn't stand out and certainly won't stick or get called to mind.

Realeyes emotion data for Coca-Cola and Heineken ads


Conversely, Heineken ad gets our attention quickly and holds it by playing on our negative emotions as we listen to quite provocative opinions and beliefs.  It makes us wonder where this is going.  It makes us ask WTF because most of us probably disagree with at least some of it. BUT, unlike Skittles 'Mother's Day, which we discussed last week, we clearly pivot to strong positivity (happiness through shared relief and joy and laughter) to see the very inspirational (and probably aspirational ) resolution to the narrative ... differences acknowledged with a desire to understand and focus on enjoying the common ground. 

This is an outcome easily made personal. 'Personal' is about engaging the viewer to agree/disagree and ultimately imagine how they would respond to 'The Decision'. And, if I may, I can't help but appreciate how the category slips into the story in such a natural way.  As such, it's not an after-thought sponsoring a social message, the brand is more naturally just there. Bravo Heineken

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