By Victor Ochieng
The Heineken beer company recently released a five-minute advertisement, entitled, “Worlds Apart.” What became immediately evident is the fact that the video wasn’t done in your usual alcohol sales pitch. Instead, it fronted a message that would certainly make this world a better place to live in.
This isn’t about some high-ranking social status or a depiction of someone who’s way out of the ordinary person’s league. No! Interestingly, the commercial breaks so many boundaries in that it’s not even about drinking. No, it’s not about having high moments in some classy joint. It’s more about something that’s closer to you; something that’s closer to home; something that each one of us can relate to; and that’s understanding.
To be clear, this article isn’t about promoting Heineken; it’s not about saying whether a Christian can drink alcohol or not. It’s strictly about some of the lessons one can learn from this ad by a beer company.
The commercial is more like a question, where we ask what would happen if two totally different strangers, holding totally divergent views, met for the first time and instead of being alerted of their differences, they’re allowed to know each other first. And after knowing each other and learning of their differences, including opinion on specific issues, they’re left to choose to either stay together or part ways.
At the onset, the viewer is aware of the differences between the strangers who are each given specific projects to accomplish. After each project, they’re asked some specific questions that help reveal who they really are and how they look at specific issues.
The most interesting part of this commercial is the fact that two total strangers are guided through a process of knowing each other; not just what the other person believes in, but truly who they are.
A comment comes in from one of the participants, saying, “We know each other better than people who have known each other for ten minutes should.” As the ad continues, the viewer gets a better view of the human aspect of the two.
When all is done, a loud voice invites the pair to share a movie. Surprisingly, the movie is about the two individually sharing their opinions on an emotionally charged topic. After watching it, they’re given room to either sit together and enjoy a beer or walk away.
You know what happened, right?
And now the question that we’re left asking is: What would happen if people got to know each other as people before getting into discussing issues? How would we engage one another if we got the opportunity to know the person behind the physical person you’re looking at?
The underlying message in the advert is that we shouldn’t judge others, but should be more understanding. This can only happen if we allowed ourselves to know the person behind the person before going into discussing issues.