Heineken® unveils social experiment for new Open Your World campaign

Innovative purpose-led campaign challenges Brits to break down barriers and find common ground

 Heineken® and Publicis London have launched a new Open Your World campaign to promote openness as a value that helps break through the echo chambers and the barriers that divide us.

For more than 150 years Heineken® has stood for openness, believing that the simple act of sitting down and having a conversation over a beer, helps bring people together.  Now Heineken® is putting it to the test with a new campaign which aims to explore if the benefit of finding common ground with one another, can ultimately lead people to be more open.

The campaign has launched with a social experiment that features real people. ‘Worlds Apart’, directed by Toby Dye, a real-life social experiment that puts together two total strangers, meeting for the first time & divided by their beliefs.  What happens when you bring together a feminist, and an anti-feminist? Or a climate change activist with someone who thinks the whole idea is “piffle”? Heineken® sets out to prove that when you see past the labels, even the most divided groups can come together to find common ground.

To inspire as many Brits as possible to take action in real life, Heineken® is partnering with The Human Library™, a unique not-for-profit organisation that uses conversation to challenge stereotypes.  Every ‘book’ in The Human Library™ is a real person with an extraordinary background – from street sleepers and refugees, to transgender and people with life-changing illnesses. Each ‘book’ can be loaned out for a conversation, a debate and a chance to find common ground.

Along with the Worlds Apart film and UK-first partnership with The Human Library, the Open Your World campaign includes:


  • The Human Library™, in partnership with Heineken® events, offering people the chance to meet some of the organisation’s ‘books,’ sharing stories, exchanging views and discovering what unites them at a series of events across the UK, including Wilderness Festival.
  • A new study, led by Goldsmiths University human behaviour expert Dr Chris Brauer, into the Science of Common Ground. The study reveals we can all be more open if we start with what unites us, choose tolerance and empathy over judgement, and look beyond our news bubbles.
  •  ‘Mix It Up’ sessions, an employer brand initiative where Heineken® colleagues from its offices and breweries across the UK will be encouraged to spend time over a sandwich or beer with people in the organisation they haven’t met before.
  • A new Facebook Chatbot that connects unexpectedly like-minded people from diverse backgrounds. Answer a few questions about your passions and it will create your own personalised film that shows what you have in common with those you didn’t expect.


Cindy Tervoort, Head of Marketing, Heineken® says: “Open Your World is the first-time Heineken® has launched a campaign of this nature in the UK. Joining forces with The Human Library™ is a way for us to inspire more people to focus on the things that unite us rather than divide us. We don’t all support the same football team, listen to the same music or share the same taste in clothes. We know we’re never going to agree on everything but there will also be common ground. Whether it’s 1950, 2017 or 2027, being open lets us get more out of life. It makes the world a more interesting place. And it makes every story worth listening to.”

Dave Monk, Executive Creative Director, Publicis London adds: “This campaign is a fresh take on the line ‘Open Your World’. With the world becoming more polarised and with borders seemingly closing down, we felt it couldn’t be more timely, or apt, for a beer brand to play a part in bringing people together. It’s also a brave client that buys an unrehearsed and unscripted piece like this. You never quite know what you’re going to get. Which makes it all the more exciting to make and rewarding if you pull it off. I think we’ve created a campaign that will resonate in different ways with people from all walks of life and hopefully spark a few positive conversations of its own.”

The campaign will also be shared on Heineken®’s Facebook page, and through a partnership with The Huffington Post.