beer business

Hey, pick on wine for a while instead

When we talk about alcohol in a negative way, why does it seem to always mean beer?

For instance, a news report that covers the problems of drinking too much alcohol will tend to run an image of a glass of beer.

Not a bottle of wine. Not a shotglass of whisky. Not even a photo of a bottle of sickly sweet ‘‘for the kiddies’’ cider. Even though all those are also alcohol and equally as suitable as an illustration.

Over in New Zealand, there’s a health campaign – Say Yeah Nah – aimed at promoting moderation with alcohol.

The latest stage in the ad campaign sees the creation of a fake beer brand (water) called Not Beersies and a series of ads based on this brand.

Keep in mind, the campaign is about ALCOHOL moderation, not BEER moderation. And yet, they focused on beer in the ads.

They didn’t do a fake wine label, or a pretend bottle of spirits or a jokey sugary-pop cider ad. They used beer.

But, according to company behind the campaign, ‘‘The ‘Not Beersies’ campaign isn’t really talking about beer.’’ Really? Then why does the name of your campaign have the word ‘‘beer’’ in it? Why do your ads create a fake beer brand?

More to the point, when beer consumption is falling, why focus on that product?

I would never suggest that beer is somehow a healthy drink and there was no need for moderation. But how about targeting wine, spirits or cider instead? This demonisation of beer is just bullshit. Other drinkers can benefit just as much from the message of moderation but with this ‘‘no Beersies’’ campaign, it’s a message most of them simply won’t hear.

That’s because the message focuses on beer.

A wine drinker will see the ad and hear the name ‘‘not Beersies’’ and think, ‘‘I don’t drink beer, they’re not talking to me’’. So will a spirit drinker and a cider drinker as well.

Sadly, it’s those drinkers who need this message – especially wine drinkers. Us beer fans get this stuff about our health all the time – but all wine drinkers seem to get is stuff about how two glasses of red a day makes you super immune to everything.

In general a wine drinker can tend to see themselves as ‘‘above’’ a beer drinker. That what they drink is cultured and that they somehow don’t get just as smashed as everybody else. A campaign poking bloody great big holes in that delusion would actually break new ground and force some people to address their behaviour.

Maybe have an ad with a dinner party and one of the guests has a few too many glasses of wine, so the hosts says, ‘‘maybe you should try this new wine instead’’. And he pulls out a bottle of water labelled ‘‘Not Wine-sies’’.

Nah, it’ll never happen. Beer is too easy a target for ad companies.

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