4 and 1/2 minutes just changed my mind about whether commercial advertising could actually send a message to an audience. It's a beer commercial, no less.
We've all seen the usual beer-makes-the-world-go-round commercials, upbeat music, quick takes as upbeat images of winsome looking twenty-somethings laughing, partying in sand and surf, not a care in the world, and the beer of choice making life appear to be just grand.
This one? I 'm not sure whether I watched a stealth beer commercial or a most definitely un-saccharine "We Are The World" moment.
Ok, there’s beer and Heineken is still trying to sell it but the starkly composed "World's Apart" ad, with no music, no fake joie-de-vivre, got my attention from the get-go. The three pairs of people involved looked like regular blokes, different ages and races, whose differing opinions about the state of the world are posited (and not known to the others) in the first one minute of the video.
The three pairs, filmed separately, are given a task to work together on. I never saw the beer ad, and the message, coming until the last ninety seconds, which I'm not going to spoil for you, when whole thing is turned on its foamy head.
I know damn well that beverage commercials are supposed to make me feel like I’m a member of the ‘in crowd’ when I hoist one. Heineken just re-identified the crowd and the message and slyly demonstrated the possibility of dialogue between vastly differing points of view once a bridge of commonality is forged. And if that bridge comes in a familiar green bottle, so be it.
It was a pause that refreshed.