Thank you David Mitchell.

Banned Courage ad

Banned Courage ad

Don’t you hate it when someone does something stupid/insenstive/hostile and then says, “I was drunk”?  Perhaps some people like to see booze as some Jekyll potion, but drink can’t create something that wasn’t already there.  It does, however, provide people who are jerks with an excuse for their behavior.  Which brings me to this ad.

David Mitchell takes on the courage ad in a recent Guardian piece. He also takes on some of the irrational responses of the ASA to beer advertising with his typical humanity and humor.

Like Mitchell, at first I didn’t get this ad.  The woman doesn’t look “bad” enough to explain the scenario.  Is she asking him to unzip her?  Follow her up the stairs to the bedroom?  Why is he afraid? What is going on?  Only the little tag hanging from the back of her garment helps with the narrative…oh, she just bought that dress.  And, oh, by perverse advertising standards we are supposed to see this woman as fat.

Mitchell has the optimism to see the ad as a joke on a relationship-ending mistake– the guy will be drunk enough to say, stupidly, “Your ass looks fat in that.”  Whereas, once I “got” it, understood it to mean beer gives you the courage to shame your lady (permission to be a brute– in the mode of the “Don’t Expect Help on a Tuesday” Nuts ads which feature a hapless woman getting sprayed by broken plumbing while she calls to her distracted partner reading the magazine). The ad seems to claim the guy is justified in being totally tactless because she’s a fat cow and somebody’s got to tell her, might as well be you.

It doesn’t take courage to be an ass, but the beer’s a handy excuse.

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6 Responses

  1. I just say, “Hey, I’m a Taurus! It’s in the stars beotch!”

    • Maybe that should be Courage’s new slogan.

  2. That should be everyone’s new slogan. Even those smarmy Capri-ca-corns. I worked at a hotel many moons ago and some old black maid who used to steal gallons of orange and apple juice used to say Capri-ca-corn. Well…there’s another useless personal artifact foisted upon the blogging community.

  3. I agree the advert is crass, but even worse, it fails in what it sets out to be: it’s simply not funny. Anyone who thinks otherwise needs to stop watching re-runs of “Bless This House” for their comedy fix. In his response to the ruling, Courage’s marketing director describes Courage as “this iconic beer”. He definitely needs to get out more as well.

    • Hi Rednev– I have to agree that it’s even wasted in terms of controversy–it’s just not even funny.

  4. I like the ad, but only after having read david mitchell’s piece.
    I see it thus – “take courage my friend” as we have to traverse this bloody minefir=eld yet again.

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