Remember when Bic’s ‘Pen For Her’ received a backlash for being sexist in 2016? Now ladies – and not forgetting the gents – there’s a new beer in town. Aurosa (#BeerForHer) is brewed in the Czech Republic and recently made its debut in London. I guess they do things differently in Central Europe, but here in the UK, gender-specific marketing doesn’t bode well, because culturally both men and women are trying to tear down the barriers of sexism on all fronts; from buying goods to how businesses operate and act with their customers and employees.
But before I put the world to right, let’s humor ourselves with a couple of tweets from an outraged beer-drinking community in the UK, when they heard about Aurosa beer.
Ooooo make it something sweet and fruity, not too strong it goes straight to my head. #beerforher
This is idiotic. Clearly created by a guy who has never spoken to a woman or had a beer with one. This hurts us all, just stop this!
Yes, let’s stop this nonsense and take a step back.
About 4,500 years ago in Ancient Egypt, women were the master brewers. Ancient Egyptian beer was made and sold entirely by women. Continuing this legacy is The Pink Boots Society in Oregon, which inspires and encourages women beer industry professionals to advance their careers as master brewers. They are the movers and shakers in the beer industry comprising 1,939 members on Facebook and 6,280 Twitter followers, which just proves women also know a thing or two about beer. And they don’t just cater for women. The beers they produce are for everyone to enjoy! Therefore, I’ll excuse their ‘pink’ boots.
Given the history of women and beer, I don’t believe there is anything empowering about Aurosa beer, nor, as a brand specialist, is it clever advertising in my view. To me, it purely sends out the wrong messages; one which is insulting to the female consumer. What it incorrectly communicates is, “you are women with small mitts, who love all things pink. Here’s a perfect beer for you because you simply can’t handle the manly beers out there”.
As a society, we are working towards closing the gap on gender inequality. I understand that we still have a long way to go, so am not sure how helpful it is to have brands telling us we need a ‘his’ and ‘her’ beer or a ‘his’ and ‘her’ pen to remind us of how we should feel and behave. I’m surprised that creative agencies tasked with engaging the UK market would opt for images on Instagram of a slender pink beer bottle sported by anaemic models sprawled across the beach with hardly a bikini on. And at €10 a bottle, ouch!
It’s a fact. The future of beer advertising needs to change. This is a real opportunity for beer brands to celebrate their women customers as pubs are becoming more female-friendly. Going forward, I’d like to see disruptive beer advertising, where women are less objectified and men are no longer stereotyped to sell products.
By Preeti Nayee
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Aurosa, a Czech Republic-based brewery, has launched “beer for her”, a premium lifestyle beer which aptly comes in a totally non-generic, non-stereotypical, pink marble bottle. Because women like shiny pink things, duh.