In the wake of the Kendall Jenner‘s controversial protest-themed Pepsi ad, one might expect beverage companies stay about from hot-button political issues in their campaigns. But a new Heineken ad shows the beer giant is running towards the fire, not away from it.
On April 20, Heineken dropped a new video to their YouTube page titled “Worlds Apart: An Experiment” in which they brought together six people — each with opposing political and social views — to see if there is “more that unites us than divides us.”
The participants, who were broken into pairs, entered into the day not having met their partners nor knowing what the experiment was really about. Tasked at putting together stools (and eventually, a bar), they each first learned to work together — stopping only to describe their personality traits to the other.
Then, video played where they got to see what the other had confessed to producers beforehand.
Suddenly a transgender woman realized she was standing next to a man who had called being transgender “not right” and “very odd.” Two men with drastically different opinions about climate change were forced to be together. And an outspoken feminist found herself in the same room as a man who called feminism “an excuse for misandry, man-hating.”
They were given a choice: they could leave, or they could sit and discuss their differences over a Heineken (natch).
As one might expect, all stayed and chatted — and found peace with their problems.
“I’ve been brought up in a way where everything is black and white, but life isn’t black and white,” one man admitted to his transgender partner, before asking for her number and vowing to stay in touch.
“At the end of the day mate, I’ve enjoyed working with you,” explained another.
Another man seemed to sum up the experiment’s purpose perfectly. “Even if you wanted to sit down and convince people of your point, the productive thing to do would be to sit down and have a beer,” he said.
It remains to be seen whether the ad will suffer the same backlash as Pepsi did — though with a week on the Internet and the reviews to be overwhelming positive, with stars like Sarah Silverman and Taran Killam weighing in their support.
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Pepsi’s commercial — which featured Jenner, 21, playing a model-turned-demonstrator at a Black Lives Matter-esque protest who hands can of Pepsi to a police officer to end the conflict – was pulled days after its premiere following intense backlash and accusations of appropriating civil rights and protest movements to sell soda. Many called the commercial “tone deaf,” including Saturday Night Live.
Jenner, meanwhile, has been staying mostly out of the spotlight as the controversy died down.
“She has been very upset,” a source close to the Keeping Up with the Kardashians star previously told PEOPLE. “She feels terrible. She loves being a model. To get a Pepsi gig was a big deal. She was very excited. She never expected it to receive such backlash. She hopes people understand that she wasn’t involved in the creative process.”
“Kendall loves modeling,” the insider continued. “She just wants to do a good job. She has no desire to be a part of something controversial. She is very aware of the backlash and [is] not happy.”