Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Starting with a bang against a beer

It took a business decision that is typical yet highly annoying for me to break out of my inertia about starting a current events/politics blog. Some things just demand comment, and I prefer to step away from my usual and older haunts to do it.

It would seem, based on various sources, that women don't drink as much beer as men. This is likely; there are countries where the dominant culture has beer as a man's drink. I ran into this personally once at a Vietnamese restaurant when I ordered a beer but the waiter was so thrown by this that he tried to give it to my husband. The personal irony of that moment is that my husband is allergic to something in conventionally brewed beers.

But back to the problem of women and beer. I am a woman who drinks beer. I know other women who do as well. But there are not enough of us buying from Molson Coors as far as they're concerned.

Is the problem because their products by and large taste like carbonated urine? Probably. In the UK last year, it was noted that women are drinking more ale than ever. For real taste, you can't drink something produced by a brewery that took it in the chops during Prohibition. That decade changed the face of beer in the US so completely, it's still suffering for it taste-wise.

Is that issue made worse by how they're marketed? Likely, as there are fewer zones outside of a comic book shop more populated by unrealistic and sexist images of women than beer commercials by the big-name brands.

So what do you suppose Molson Coors did in the wake of realizing they aren't attracting women to their brands? Decided to change their marketing? Would be easier than re-tooling their beer to actually taste like something. But neither possibility was their take-away from the probable brainstorming sessions.

Just as gun sellers decided women need pink-handled revolvers, Molson Coors decided women want pretty beer. I am pleased to note these are only being launched in the UK so I won't have to wince when I see them on my store shelves. I get enough of a stomach-turn when I see pre-canned Bud and Clamato. I realize that's a standard drink in certain Mexican subcultures. I just cannot stomach Clamato. Adding the World's Worst Beer to it just makes it emetic-in-a-can to me.

Molson Coors' bright idea is called Animée. Why they used the French feminine form of "animated," I don't know. Perhaps they want to encourage animated conversations? Could be. It's also a very feminine-looking word. Might be all they wanted out of it.

And instead of making actual beers with taste, Animée is a suite of three pink-tinted, filtered beers. Presuming that women want things light and at least occasionally fruity, Animée comes in "clear filtered, crisp rosé, and zesty lemon." Yes, they flavored a beer to taste like wine.

Considering how admirably Zima did in the US market, you'd think they'd realize by now that feeding anyone, especially women, frou-frou nonsense isn't going to get anywhere. And early reviews indicate they will fail miserably again.

Insanity is sometimes defined as "doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results." Changing the flavor of the piss you peddle doesn't change the fact it came from the southbound end of a northbound mountain lion.


  1. I have a sickening suspicion that this is aimed at underage drinkers. It's even named for the sensationally popular style of cartoon that's all the rage with high school girls of every ilk these days. How do they get away with this stuff??

  2. Actually, since it's in the UK, that isn't applicable. Anime isn't a big craze to British girls and isn't spelled the same way, either. The drinking age there is also lower, so the point's pretty moot.