Yesterday, TIME OUT CHICAGO, decided to broach the scathing hot button issue of breweries using sexist and insensitive labels to market their products. The same parade of miscreants and offenders reads like a “Who’s Who of Tired Beer Topics.” Shockingly we were not treated to the traditional sidebar discussion of “SEXUAL CHOCOLATE RACIST AND SEXIST LABELS EXISTING CONCURRENTLY.” Notwithstanding, let’s take another dip into this tired topic and try to approach it with a touch more bedside manner than DING previously effected.
First and foremost, these labels are dumb, misogynistic, myopic, and above all, shitty. I don’t think anyone is disputing that point. It hardly bears noting they alienate the female consumer base, degrade the branding of their product, and make those crack marketing teams look wildly out of comport with modern standards of what is generally deemed socially acceptable. No shit, everyone gets that. Even the average male consumer doesn’t look at a silhouette of a woman in a sexually objectifying position and go “YES FINALLY SOME SUGAR WATER THAT ADDRESSES MY CONCERNS.” It is hilarious to hold the average brewery, composed of industrial equipment and a staff composed of a majority of men stirring hot grain, to the utmost sensitivity standard.
Their marketing serves to alienate the people it offends and their loss of revenue is their reward for their antiquated appeals to prurient interests. If they want to excel in providing cutting edge juvenile content, use sexual puns, and exclude themselves from potential consumers for the sheer love of 7th grade fascinations, it is well within their First Amendment rights to do so, but no one has to buy that stupid shit.
Furthermore, most of the breweries that engage in this activity, an exceedingly small margin of an already exceedingly tiny slice of beer culture, know that they are servicing a predominately male craft beer segment. If they want to perform that Bentham ethical calculus to look like shitlords to sell a few more cases to some foreveralones, let’s just chalk that up to an innovative cringeworthy marketing campaign.
Every time that another site posits the same tired lambasting of this issue, Clown Shoes, et al, receive the free marketing and shock appeal that they were seeking in the first place. It’s like a second grader yelling “COOOOTERRRR” in class, if you constantly acknowledge the malfeasance, you reward the lowbrow pandering.
In actuality, this marketing is no less offensive than intensely-tested McDonalds marketing that blatantly exploits urban and minority consumers, or Yoplait constantly making fathers look like complete dipshits who cant even locate yogurt in a fridge, or Viacom constantly pushing facewash products to insecure teenagers. These are all shitty companies, breweries and just a little most hamfisted and less transparent about it.
While we are on the topic of sexist beverages, let’s get the tricornered hat and bell out and address the same tired ass arguments against wineries that market almost elusively to women in a pandering and culturally insensitive way, albeit using the other side of the gender insensitivity coin. Most of these wineries directly target women and offend their sensibilities with trite depictions of what female culture is composed of, reducing their labels to trite gender blackface that not only serves to completely alienate male consumers, but more importantly, are wildly reductionist and potentially offensive to female consumers. Let’s take a look at some gems:
GOLD DIGGER WINE, look at that label, get that money. Surely they intended to imply an inspiring/lucrative career in fracking and metallurgy.
Let’s not forget ultra-inspiring wine companies like:
and my personal favorite:
Now none of these wineries are reducing men to physical objects, or making outright cock puns, but they don’t need to: the issue cuts in both directions and is offensive to both sexes. Bad marketing from others doesn’t serve to make stupid beer labels any less juvenile or offensive, but it serves as an example of how manipulative garbage corporations can be. At the end of the day, the issue reduces to shitty marketing that you don’t need to support. Furthermore, successful businesses shouldn’t need to embrace this incendiary content to get your hard-earned Golden Corral paychecks in the first place.
TL:DR there is a lot of shitty marketing, some breweries are just worse at it, you don’t have to buy any of their garbage.