Despite having better things to do, and not learning my lessons from past year, I posted the following on a queer-friendly friend’s page (like me) and a transgendered friend’s page (not like me) after they shared this article. I take a consequentialist view, in the end: The ad serves the greater good.

“We desperately need positive messages like these; it’s just the ideological extremes that don’t want them.

I had an interesting conversation with my girlfriend about this ad, as we watched it on my phone on a bus. I would like to “get” the critique (like so many today, it’s “throwing the baby out with the bathwater” to gain cool cred points), yet in the end the ad is a nugget of “positivity” in a sea of banality. The final message: Someone who has negative views of transgendered people changed his mind through direct interaction. This is why we have gay marriage today: People changed their viewpoint (and politics) because they MET people different than themselves. Empathy and humanity bridged divides. People TALKED. Sometimes, over beers. Even mediocre Dutch lagers.

Can we not allow any “positive messaging” seep through corporate advertising? I feel the same way about TV, music, and billboards. Better something “positive” and “progressive” than negative or boring.

And I’m sure results varied in the experiment. But note which values were subtly supported in the final edit: Trans rights and feminism. Also worth noting it was conducted by experienced people responsibly hired by Heineken, not just marketing / ad people.”

Addendum Link:



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
David Shuey

Writer. Researcher. Designer. Human seeking better outcomes for all. Empiricism, relevant facts, and logical arguments > simple narratives.