We’ve Come a Long Way Baby
May 20, 2001
By Ivette Ricco
We’ve Come A Long Way Baby!
Picture this, the year is 1970, two women are sitting at a bar, they spot a nice looking man bellying-up to the bar. They exchange glances and tell the bartender they want to buy him a drink.
Sound plausible? In the year 2001 yes, in 1970, hell no.
Miller Lite has an ad running nationwide that features two young women sitting at a bar.
They spot a nice looking young man and tell the bartender they’re buying a Miller Lite for him. The bartender gives the guy the beer, and then the women spot a “great” looking guy sitting at a table. They have the bartender yank the beer from the nice looking guy and give it to the second, “great” looking guy. Then, another equally stud-like creature sits next to the great looking guy. The women say, wow there’s two of them. But, just as quickly the second stud places his hand gently over the first “great” looking guy’s hand.
The women comment, well at least we know he’s not married.
So, how many stereotypes and taboos did Miller Lite destroy with this ad?
So, you say, what does this have to do with sports and Femmefan.com?
Come on, sports, beer, babes, sex. Sports the last male sanctuary has had to let in the female fan, and now, gadzooks, the male is being treated like so much fresh meat!
Femmefans want a little piece of the action, how about some of that ad revenue for the women fans? How about a little TLC for those ladies who spend their hard earned dollars, or their significant others dollars, on season tickets, over-sized team apparel, seven dollar stadium brew and foot-long wieners.
Beer manufacturers are starting to take a serious look at the female brew drinker. No longer just the drink men favor, women have been increasing their beer consumption.
The problem for beer manufacturers and their ad agencies is how to market this traditional male beverage to the young and affluent female market.
Are calories a primary consideration? What about health, and looks? How important is sex, the ever-present subliminal message in almost every beverage sold on the planet, including even the seemingly benign, milk.
Sex sells, and beautiful people sell, how does the female drinker reconcile the brew image and mentality, how does beer drinking translate into being sexy and feminine?
Beers names we all recognize, Budweiser, Miller, Coors and Guinness don’t exactly inspire thoughts of slinky bodies. Nor do they conjure up alluring romantic moonlit moments, or sleek waif like body images.
So then, why are women drinking beer?
More importantly how do beer manufacturers and the ad agencies target them?
Listen up Mr. BeerMeister; Femmefan is going to help you out:
Think lite, think buddy, think gal-pal, think sports, think hot, think cool, think sweat, think sexy, think warm, think friendly, and think fun.
Sales of beer in the US in 1999, for at home consumption, totaled $63.3 billion. Holy Burp! How many carbs is that?
Light beer accounted for one-third of the market in 1990. By the year 2013 the beer industry is projecting that light beer will account for half the beer market, almost directly attributable to the increase in beer consumption by women.
Women currently account for 25 percent of total beer consumption.
Twice as many men drink beer as compared to women, 37 million men as opposed to 17 million women. Damn that’s why these guys are so full of it.
In addition, women drink half as much: 11.3 servings monthly versus 22.8 for men. But, women drink 15% more low-calorie beer then regular domestic or imported beer.
According to Anheuser-Busch, they have identified five critical concerns that need to be addressed in order to bring more women into the beer market.
- Palate- make it slightly sweeter and with less aftertaste. How do you do that?
- Effect- go for less gassiness and bloating. Absolutely.
- Alcohol level- offer more choices. Let’s have choices on how fast we get plastered.
- Image- make it seem more elegant and sophisticated. Now, there’s a concept.
- Alternative- address wine’s healthier and low-calorie image. Without a doubt America’s obsession.
Beware- research shows that women don’t want “chick beer” in pink bottles. None of that “sissy” beer for us gals.
On the national marketing front, makers and sellers of beer are paying more attention to the diverse drinking population. The nation’s overwhelming preference for light beer is at the forefront of the diversity, specifically the female market.
The ad cliché “Beer & Babes” has new meaning in this 63 billion dollar beer business.
Typical beer commercials are designed to get the young male’s attention. This has been accomplished by use of humor, sex, and more humor and more sex.
The female was used as a means of getting the guys attention; do you remember the “Swedish Bikini Team”?
Now we have a new generation of women, women who enjoy a pint or two.
Amstel Light, the USA’s best-selling imported light beer has been running a commercial that shows a woman opening a bottle with her teeth and spitting the cap across the bar.
In another spot a woman uses a rival beer to water her flowers.
In yet another commercial we see two women at a bar scooping out hot guys and buying them beers.
Foster’s shows a young couple on a date at a swanky Sydney, Australia restaurant, where the guy is very impressed when the woman crunches the empty Foster’s can against her forehead.
The Budweiser “Whassup?! Crew faces a “Girl Invasion” in a new spot.
So then what does the female beer drinker really want?
To be the male equivalent of a fat, goofy, beer belly guy? Not!
Women drink beer because it is easy, convenient, refreshing and levels the social playing field. Men may reject the dainty wine-look, the sweet pink daiquiri and even the margarita, for the more macho beer. Women like the security of recognizing a brand name and knowing they can hang with the men without competing.
Beer manufacturers need to show women who are attractive, friends, pals, in a casual setting (sporting events works here) where the male and female meeting is not expected to result in a one-night stand.
“Brewers have been reluctant to market to women for fear of alienating their core audience: men,” says Benj Steinman, president of Beer Marketer’s Insights. “But beer consumption among women is growing. And they like light beer.”
In a male dominated market, there is one beer, Oregon-brewed Babe Beer that has caused controversy. It’s labeling may pit the male beer drinker against the female beer drinker. Babe Beer’s peel-off labels on each bottle feature a photo of robust young women donned in scanty outfits and sporting million-dollar smiles.
I say, let’s get some Stud Beer with rip off labels that show a lot of muscle as the bottle glistens and sweats. Yeah, now that’s the ticket!
We’ve come a long way Baby!