New York, NY - November 21, 2019 – In today's world that can often feel more divided than ever, finding common ground and human connection has never been more important. That’s why this holiday season, Stella Artois is on a mission to inspire people to reach across the fence — or driveway, or down the hall — and get to know the people who may live the closest but feel the most distant: our neighbors.
According to a recent Pew study, fewer than one-third (31 percent) of Americans admit to knowing their neighbors. The number drops even lower to less than a quarter (21 percent) for respondents under the age of thirty.
And although we don’t often reach out, we do seem to share a positive association and longing to connect to our neighborhoods -- often depicted in sentimental holiday movies or even the most nostalgic television shows that encourage us all to get to know each other better.
So why don’t we?
Fueled by this question, Stella is launching a series of nationwide activations to inspire people to open up to one another over a couple of beers. The brand unveiled a new docufilm in partnership with renowned documentary director Tatia Pilieva, that captures a social experiment revealing what happens when strangers who are neighbors meet for the first time.
"I’m inspired by human connection,” stated Pilieva. “The goal was to light a spark and watch it grow and I was excited to work with Stella on something so spontaneous and fun. We all grew up with role models that encouraged us to extend ourselves, to share and be a good neighbor. I wanted to pay tribute to that — we are open, kind, friendly and vulnerability really resonates on screen.”
The docufilm sheds light on today’s disconnect between people and their neighbors while seeking to remind us that bridging the gap and forming a meaningful bond can begin with a simple hello. Shot in various neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Manhattan, the story unfolds through a series of heartfelt interactions and conversations between six pairs of neighbors who may pass each other in the same hall every day but, until this opportunity, have never truly met. Capturing an intimate intertwining of shared moments, unexpected vulnerability, laughter, and even some spontaneous singing, the film’s focus on real neighbors opening up for the first time aims to be an uplifting inspiration on the positivity and joy of connecting with those closest to us, especially during the holiday season.
“When we get drawn into our own lives, it’s so easy to get caught up in what we’re doing. But reaching out to say hi and hanging out over a few beers can go a long way,” said Leroy Church, a 32-year old dancer who got to know his next-door neighbor, Jake Russo, through Stella’s social experiment. Both Leroy and Jake plan to continue their newfound friendship over a standing karaoke session each week.
“New York is a microcosm of neighborhoods everywhere, and given that New Yorkers are statistically less likely to interact with their neighbors , we were intrigued to see how people would react in this social experiment. With our holiday campaign being all about creating meaningful moments, we knew we wanted to find ways to bring together our larger community and create an opportunity to orchestrate connections all over the map,” said Lara Krug, VP of Marketing, Stella Artois.
Bringing Neighborhoods Together, One Stella At A Time
Created as the ultimate ice-breaker, the docufilm features a customized Stella Artois two-pack that serves as a catalyst to bring neighbors together. The Stella Together Holiday Sweater Pack cozily cradles two beers in a red knit button-down sweater, and includes a cleverly designed two-piece magnetized bottle key that only works when both parts come together.
As a way to encourage Americans to reach out to their neighbors, the brand will be giving away 500 of the Stella Together Holiday Sweater Packs on www.stellaartois.com/Neighbors.* If you aren’t able to snag your own, you will still have an opportunity simply by sharing a photo of you and your neighbor on social with the hashtags #stellaneighbors and #contest for a chance to win.**
Stella Artois is spreading this mission nationwide in local neighborhoods across 27 cities, encouraging communities to come together, celebrate the holidays, and bond over a few beers.
Stella’s neighborly mission is part of the brand’s larger “Moments Worth Making” holiday campaign, an effort to celebrate the festive season by inspiring people to rediscover the joy of connecting with those that matter most.
“Stella has always been about bringing people together; after all, we have 600 years of brewing heritage, and we were originally crafted as a holiday gift for the town of Leuven, Belgium. This holiday, we want to ask people to take it a step further and find new ways to create moments with those closest to them, including their neighbors,” said Krug.
Stella is also offering a change of taste to neighbors everywhere this holiday season. The brand debuted its first-ever limited-edition holiday brew called Stella Artois Midnight Lager as an early gift to brand fans. The special brew boasts subtle notes of dark chocolate and espresso, is perfect for any holiday affair, and will be available nationwide through the end of the year.
Watch the docufilm here
Find out more: www.stellaartois.com/Neighbors
About Stella Artois
Stella Artois® is part of a Belgian brewing tradition dating back to 1366. It is the No. 1 Belgian beer in the world and is present in 95 countries. Stella Artois is a bottom filtered, blonde pilsner. It is thirst quenching with a malty middle and crisp finish delivering a full flavor and a hint of bitterness. Stella Artois is best enjoyed served between 3 and 5 degree Celsius and should be served in the unique Stella Artois Chalice according to the 9-Step Pouring Ritual to guarantee a perfect experience of this gold standard lager. Visit www.stellaartois.com for more information.
* No Purchase Necessary. Open to US residents (except AL, AR, CA & TX residents) who are 21+. Offer begins on 11/21/19 and ends on 11/28/19, or until all prizes have been awarded. See Offer "Terms & Conditions" at stellaartois.com/neighbors for prizes & details. Message and data rates may apply. Void where prohibited.
** No Purchase Necessary. Open to US residents who are 21+. Contest begins on 11/21/19 and ends on 12/31/19. To enter, follow @stellaartois and share a photo of you and your neighbor with the hashtags #stellaneighbors and #contest on Instagram or Twitter. See full rules at stellaartois.com/neighbors. Void where prohibited. *Cash equivalent.
 Pew Study (2018)
You must be of legal drinking age to enter this site