When it comes to beer advertising I will never understand why some companies choose to create ads that are solely pitched at men – it’s as though the idea that women buy beer isn’t even considered – but which really insult their target market at the same time.
It’s a topic I’ve written about before but it still amazes me when it happens.
And it’s happened with this year’s Oktoberfest ad from the Bavarian Beer Cafe.
Oh dear God. Where to begin? Those gratuitous crotch, butt and chest shots, those shots of certain parts of their anatomy obeying the law of gravity when they run, that awful breathy voice-over and the odious line “If you train like a bitch, you perform like a bitch”. It’s a perfect storm of terrible ad.
If you told me this was an ad made in the 1970s, when it was okay to put women in ads for the sole purpose of ogling them. I’d have believed you. Because it doesn’t seem possible that an ad could be so out of touch with modern society. This ad is not funny, not clever, not ironic, not original, not a satire – it’s just another tired “beer and boobs” ad.
I could talk about how this demeans women but, given the Bavarian Beer Cafe figured this ad was okay, they don’t really care about women. Unless they are chesty and can pour beer, I assume. So I’ll talk about how this ad demeans men too. This ad presumes that beer and boobs will invoke some Pavlovian response in men, that we are simple creatures so easy to sell things too. That someone thinks so little of me really pisses me off. That someone figured I was some sexist yob who just like to sink piss land look at boobs makes me angry. And this is appears to be what they think of their target market actually shocks me. Shouldn’t you value your customers rather than insulting them?
By the way, there is a companion video, one that features guys. And which just highlights the sexism of the first ad.
Did you notice how the men weren’t shown in the same light as the women? Notice how the two men weren’t reduced to a series of body parts – pecs and groins. Did they show a shot of a man’s groin and say “Hey, don’t be a dick this Oktoberfest”? No, they didn’t. But they did mention that the men had some “secret weapons” just as a woman’s breasts appeared on screen. Get it? When they say “weapons” they mean the woman’s breasts. My God, that’s so hilarious. Please get me a needle and thread, my sides have split from laughing so hard.
That last gag makes it seem like these ads were created by a teenage boy going through puberty.
I can’t help but wonder how the women who work for the Bavarian Beer Cafe and the company that owns it feel about these ads. Surely they’re not happy that their gender only gets to appear in ads as eye candy for beer-drinking bogans. It must be hard enough being a female working at a bar already, without ads like this giving males at the venue apparent licence to ogle you.
As for the company that owns the beer cafe chain, I wonder if some of the women who saw this ad objected to it but didn’t feel comfortable voicing those concerns lest they be silenced with that empty-headed response used to justify sexism for decades, “oh, it’s just a bit of fun”.
Funnily enough, this ad has had the opposite effect to what was intended. Rather than make me want to go to the Bavarian Beer Cafe, this ad has made me decide that I’ll never visit one again. I just can’t support this sort of thing.