Coors new ad campaign aimed at women.
Coors new brand spells it out for you: Yes, some beers make you burp. Yes, some do have a bitter taste. Yes, you can get bloated drinking beer. So we changed it. Their new lager is “ultra filtered” so that it’s completely clear. And it’s flavored with green tea and dragonfruit. The tasting notes for this prerelease are limited to “like an alcopop.”
Fancy being a beer goddess? The site asks me while giving me some handy facts about ancient mythology and “experimental cocktails.” My first reaction when looking at the Bittersweet site was that it was some kind of joke. What if beer came in sexy easy-to-carry boxes? A girl can dream!
There is also much talk of glassware. On the “Views” section of the website someone, probably not a real person, suggests that if bars “have sleeker slimmer or taller and slimmer or curvier glasswear, I buy one more proudly. Usually I really prefer a large dash of lemonade on the top too.” (emphasis mine).
So really, not beer at all but shandy in a champagne flute? This isn’t aimed at me. It’s not even aimed at any women I know. This campaign is patronizing and alienating and is doomed to fail.
The Beer Babe is running a “Beer for Women” ad design contest. On the contest page she links to a video where this issue is being debated on BBC Breakfast. There is an image consultant (surely a vocation overly represented in hell.) who suggests that if a woman were to order a beer on a date it would turn the guy off. She claims the drink you chose reveals who you are. She suggests a Manhattan, a “Sex in the City” style cocktail. I think all that really tells us is what kind of person she is.
What really keeps women away from beer are backwards, sexist attitudes that still persist in beer culture and marketing. Take Skinny Blonde, a new Australian beer. The label features a pin up girl whose clothes disappear as the bottle warms. If we are to apply the image consultant’s logic to the male drinker, how would this beer augment his image? If you were on a date with a guy and he ordered this beer, would you be turned off? It might impress some moron friends of his but most women I know would see it as a red flag.
Some beers have managed to appeal to women quite effortlessly–think of Hitachino or Meantime–not a pink heart in sight. Beer culture does need to evolve, and perhaps advertising will be part of this, but I’m skeptical. When has advertising ever really understood us as human beings? These femme campaigns are trying to right the wrongs of the macho mega-breweries but they have it all wrong. People don’t drink beer to impress each other, they drink beer to be together.
Carling Belong bus stop ad from 2006
I’d be lying if I said this ad made me try Carling, but it spoke to me as a beer drinker who just happens to be a woman.