When you think of your typical beer drinkers, an image springs to mind of a bunch of cheeky guys, enjoying a raucous night out with the lads.
Beer is not usually associated with girls, in fact, girls are more often than not used to promote beer. But not by drinking it. They are accessories, the sexy girl on the beach, the person serving the beer, but they are never actually seen enjoying it.
One company want to change all that.
Brazilian brewery Cerveja Feminista have launched the first feminist beer that challenges the typical male stereotypical beer drinker. The beer is the creation of activist group 65|10. This group is named after a study found that 65 percent of women in Brazil did not feel represented in advertising commercials, and only 10 percent of people working in advertising are female.
The founder of 65|10 – Thais Fabris spoke to The Week:
“The typical Brazilian beer ad shows a semi-naked standard-beauty woman being harassed by men. She is either the waitress in the bar, a girl on the beach, or a prize the men get for drinking that beer.”
Fabris believes that these advertising messages could have serious consequences as ‘it has many dangerous aspects, since it objectifies women’.
To get her message across, the label of her feminist beer Red Ale features a symbol for gender equality with a handy definition of feminism, not doubt placed there to instigate a healthy pub debate.
Beer adverts across the world usually feature a scantily clad woman serving the beer to a man. Even when the woman is the focus of the advert, for example the Stella Artois advert in which the man is the waiter and lops the top off the lager, the woman still undergoes four dress changes in under 20 seconds.
Fabris wants to change the perception that all beer drinkers are male. But she is not just interested in increasing sales, she wants to change behaviour, both in bars and advertising:
“The effects of the messages we create go way beyond driving sales, they drive behaviour,” Fabris added.
“Grab a feminist beer, join the conversation and make a toast to equality.”
Hannah Rhodes agrees with Fabris, she is the founder of Hiver, an award-winning beer that is marketed for both men and women.
She agrees that it is time beer advertising changed and focused on more neutral marketing:
“There are already great beers out there that tackle some of the traditional issues; smaller serving sizes, more balanced and interesting flavour profiles and finally, more neutral branding.
“I’d suggest that many men would feel similarly uncomfortable selecting a beer with floral patterns on the label and an advert focussed on a man’s groin.
“It’s just not mature and we all, men and women, want to be respected a bit more in how we’re marketed to.”
She told Newsbeat that beer is in need of a general rebrand.
“Like the creative agency behind this beer are saying, much of the advertising is targeted at men and I’ve heard many women say no to a sample of beer on the basis that they prefer ‘more girly drinks’.
“So I think they’re right, the perception of beer and the advertising campaigns around put women off and even make them feel drinking a beer challenges their identity.”
While we think the idea of neutral beers are a great idea, we do not believe that feminist beers will catch on. For a start, you are making a pretty big statement when ordering a feminist beer, and we think it is not something that most men will want to buy. Which leaves women.
Unfortunately, ‘feminist’ has some negative connotations and when people go out they just want to have a laugh, not make a political statement.