Released on the very day that Trump signed the executive order banning Muslim countries from entering the U.S., a Danish ad with an entirely different message has quickly gone viral.
Created by Copenhagen-based &Co for Danish TV station TV2, the three-minute film plays on the traditional “us versus them” narrative and highlights the implicit bias of cultural stereotypes in a wide range of people.
Set on a soundstage, the ad begins with groups of people silently filling in as a voiceover explains, “It’s easy to put people in boxes. There’s us and there’s them, the high earners and those just getting by. Those we trust and those we try to avoid. There are those we share something with and those we don’t share anything with.” One by one, these groups walk in together and stand shoulder to shoulder with their chosen clique.
And so, the experiment begins.
The people are asked a number of questions “some which might be a bit personal” and asked to step forward if they have ever “felt lonely,” “are stepparents,” or perhaps “were the class clown.” Some questions are relatively straightforward, some are hard-hitting, and some coax out a collective roar of laughter.
Suddenly, the groups start to merge and mix together. People smile in surprise to find common ground with people they’ve never dreamed they would. The barriers that have built up — class, appearance, and beliefs — all come tumbling down.
That classic “us versus them” narrative is turned on its head and we are asked to look beyond what’s on the surface to find common ground. In a time where we can all be guilty of judging too quickly and putting people in boxes, this heartwarming film serves as a reminder that we are all part of one enormous and wonderfully diverse community.
Though it is the differences that define us and set us apart from one another, perhaps it’s time we shift our focus and instead think about how our similarities bind us together.
Campaign: All That We Share