A Perfect Pour or the Bottom of the Barrel? We Take a Look at Brewdog’s Efforts of International Women’s Day 2018.
This time last year, I wrote a blog on Beer, Brands and Feminism.
The premise was such: I’m a woman, I love beer, so why then does almost every beer brand under the sun market itself – overtly or not – towards men?
I therefore couldn’t fail to notice Brewdog’s initiative for International Women’s Day this year. In the most painfully hipster way imaginable, the brewery has taken an ‘ironic’ stance on the topic of feminism, by creating a new product intended to offer a sarcastic commentary on the pinkwashing committed by a number of other well-meaning but way off the mark brands.
Introducing Brewdog Pink IPA: Beer for Girls. Complete with a pink label, the brand introduced the beer on Twitter with the following announcement.
‘We’ve created a beer for girls. And it’s pink. Because women only like pink and glitter, right? #sarcasm’
The beer is also being sold at a cheaper price to women than men, as a way to address the hot topic of the gender pay gap.
I get what they’re trying to do. Unlike pink Bic pens for girls, I can understand the logic here. And it’s hard to argue against the use of a sarcastic, provocative tone of voice, which absolutely sits at the heart of the Brewdog brand.
So why, then, much like a stale lager, am I left feeling flat?
The sentiment is correct, but the execution goes a step too far, and in doing so misses the punchline. Brewdog never needed to create the Pink IPA at all. The message would have come across just as well, if not better, through a marketing campaign alone.
Imagine, for example, a social media ad showing a girl sipping luxuriously from a condensation covered bottle of Pink IPA. The text overlay reads: ‘Girls, here is a beer just for you’. The image then cuts to Brewdog’s classic Punk IPA. Because anyone can drink a Brewdog beer. Because beer, believe it or not, is not gendered.
The bottom line is that a Beer for Girls is absurd. So why, then, create it? As an ironic concept it works well, but in a tangible, physical form, it blurs the line between sarcasm and the obtuseness it sets out to comment on.
Good try Brewdog, but I don’t think I’ll be raising my glass to you on this occasion…