Heineken recently released a new ad for its Sometimes, lighter is better campaign and there's a problem. Chance the Rapper noticed and took to Twitter calling the add "horribly racist." He also wondered if companies aren't well aware of the controversy ads like this create and perhaps it simply means more publicity.
The ad in question starts with a bartender noticing a beautiful woman (of course!) looking none to happy with her beer. He takes matters into his own hands and slides the beer across an entire rooftop party to the grateful woman. The end slogan? Sometimes, lighter is better followed by an information card telling us the beer has just 99 calories. Doesn't sound so bad, right?
The problem arises when you add in the subtler details. You see the woman has light skin and the beer, on it's intended destination to the "beautiful" target, literally slides past three dark skinned people then lands with Sometimes, lighter is better.
Chance noticed and took to Twitter pointing it out. He also went to lengths to say he isn't calling for a boycott or trying to damage to the company, he simply wants consumers and advertisers to have more awareness.
I think some companies are purposely putting out noticably racist ads so they can get more views. And that shit racist/bogus so I guess I shouldn’t help by posting about it. But 😂 I gotta just say tho. The “sometimes lighter is better” Hienekin commercial is terribly racist omg— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) March 26, 2018
Im not saying boucott them or go off im just noticing how often it happens and I think they baiting consumers and tweeters and freelancers and shit. Like I didnt wanna tweet about it so bad 😂😂 but its like how can u not— Chance The Rapper (@chancetherapper) March 26, 2018
You can watch the ad below to see what Chance is talking about.
Some people thought Chance was reaching on this one.
You reaching like you got some extendo-arms lmaooo— jojo: #BestRegularSeasonEverSZN (@JoJo337_) March 26, 2018
Idk...the presence of black people, reggae music, and the guy strumming along...I think they were going for a mood. Heineken has always been a light beer. I think we're trying to create an issue when there isn't one.— Prince of Stories ⏳ (@larsbar92) March 26, 2018
Still others picked up on the subtlety and agreed with Chance that at best the ad was tone-deaf.
Yeah wtf I swear nobody saw the vid they legit slid the beer past a ton of black ppl then once it came to the white ppl they say sometimes lighter is better that’s high key sus— Booster (@boosterisgold) March 26, 2018
Yeah it's bizarre that they'd even think it's ok. Makes me think Chance's theory is correct. It's subtle enough to maintain deniability, but noticeable enough to gain publicity. Plus, it gives them big ups within the "anti-PC" (pro-casual racism) crowd.— elliot (@GlEl97) March 26, 2018
Yes, that’s the obvious point of the line. But, in the imagery where was the regular beer? Where was the thing that compared the light beer to something else to drive that point home? Look at how the black people were used. It was obvious.— K I A R A (@_DamnGina_) March 26, 2018
I don’t understand how people are saying that Chance is reaching. Like this is subliminal racism. It only passed dark skinned black people and stopped at a white passing woman? With the slogan “sometimes lighter is better?” lol y’all so dense sometimes— Ororo Munroe (@ttttara21) March 26, 2018
I can see your point Chance. It's the subtle and subliminal messages that do the most harm. This may be intentional, then again maybe not. Only the marketing team knows the true intent.— Kim The Incredible (@OhSoKimcredible) March 26, 2018
How does this go past the PR people.— Derick Waggoner (@ComeHereShadow) March 26, 2018
🤔 I think we will have a strong response from the closet racist demographic with this one, Chad. Good work with keeping us close enough for deniability, but just enough to reach out strong to that demographic. pic.twitter.com/DPZAfjV3rl