Making something pink and saying it’s “for girls” is a marketing ploy straight out of the 1950s, but incredibly it’s still something that we see time and time.
The latest company to buy into these gender stereotypes is the beer brand BrewDog, which has launched a ‘new’ beer called Pink IPA. Yes, the bottle is pink, and yes, it says “beer for girls” on it.
But wait, apparently BrewDog is launching this beer “satirically” in an attempt to combat the gender pay gap and sexist marketing. In fact, the beer is just the standard Punk IPA that’s been repackaged – it says as “a send-up of the lazy marketing efforts targeting the female market.”
While the effort to expose lazy marketing is admirable, some people suspect that it has been pretty poorly executed. For many, it just looks like BrewDog is buying into the same tired gender stereotypes.
you have taken one of your existing products, just put a pink label on it, cause 'oh we think women like pink' and label it 'Beer for Girls' this seems like you are jumping on the bandwagon of #InternationalWomensDay, you could have stepped up to the mark so much better.— Georgina Breeze (@georgina_breeze) March 6, 2018
It’s lazy marketing though. Why do you need to make it pink and have beer for women on the bottle to appeal to women?! The idea is amazing but this execution is terrible— Thom Steph (@ThomGSteph) March 6, 2018
Oh dear. This is like when teenagers discover sarcasm. Marketing pink beer at women in order to call out other people marketing pink beer at women isn't "satirical". It's marketing pink beer at women.— Libby (@CaptainLibatron) March 6, 2018
Others think that the company could be doing other things that would be much more helpful in addressing the gender pay gap.
Oh dear god. Hire some women. Lots of women. In key positions. Executive-level, decision-making positions.
Do it fast.
Do it now.— Mark Dexter (@RealMarkDexter) March 6, 2018
Nice idea and good cause but poor execution. Could you not have worked with some of the amazing women working in and around beer and had their pictures and stories on the labels? Spread awareness of their work? As opposed to just slapping a pink label and 'beer for girls' on it?— Oliver Clayton-Green (@WishboneOliver) March 6, 2018
However, BrewDog seems to be sticking by its guns and maintains that the sarcasm of the campaign will help smash stereotypes.
We’ve created a beer for girls. And it’s pink. Because women only like pink and glitter, right?
Lets show that enough is enough with stereotypes. pic.twitter.com/g1zonXFInm— BrewDog (@BrewDog) March 6, 2018
Whatever you think of the execution of the campaign, the idea behind it is pretty great. In an attempt to tackle the gender pay gap (which stands at 20% in the UK), BrewDog will be donating 20% of the proceeds from Pink IPA and Punk IPA to causes that fight gender inequality.
Not only that, but those who identify as women will be able to buy the beer 20% cheaper at BrewDog bars… although you’ll still have to drink your beer out of a pink bottle.
Sarah Warman, BrewDog’s global head of marketing, said: “Women make up a small but growing percentage of my peers within the beer industry, and with Pink IPA we are hoping to welcome more people who identify as female into craft beer. It’s an incredible industry to be a part of, and the more women we can get working behind the bar, the more women we can hope to see the other side of it.”
“Sexism in the beer industry is rife. We can no longer ignore that its existence prevents plenty of incredible women joining our eclectic and exciting industry. There is a long history of products that pander and patronise through harmful, sexist stereotypes and vulgar imagery, and we’re rallying to put an end to this nonsense.”