November 07, 2005

Beer, Straight Up Perhaps, dear

Beer, Straight Up

Perhaps, dear reader, you have watched an hour of television in the past year. If so, you have ineluctably seen two things: 1) around three thousand obnoxious Geico commercials; 2) the new advertising campaign for Milwaukee’s Best Light beer.

You know the ads we mean: At some sort of male gathering, one of the fellows in attendance acts in an “unmanly” fashion—dressing like his girlfriend, taking grease off a pizza slice with a napkin, speaking baby-talk to a puppy, &c.

For such an outlandish offense against those with testosterone, this “unmanly” character is crushed by a gigantic can of Milwaukee’s Best Light. Whilst his friends look on with a striking paucity of concern, a voiceover informs us that guys just don’t do those sorts of things, and then assures us that Milwaukee’s Best Light is for real men. Not, we infer, wusses.

As far as we can intuit (which, to be honest, isn’t terribly far), the entire marketing department at Milwaukee’s Best appears to have cobbled together an ad campaign that roughly boils down to the following message: “Don’t be a fag.” Or, to put it in advertising format: “Don’t be a fag—drink Milwaukee’s Best Light.”

Now, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” tend toward the traditionalist side, and, as a result, nowhere near 47 percent of us are what Gore Vidal calls “homosexualists.” In fact, informal polling around the office water cooler suggests that only Ted is into guys. And as far as the women are concerned, we’re not sure how many of them are lesbians. Frankly, since they are all graduate students, and therefore ugly, the subject’s never come up.

But we digress. Our point is that even we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” find this marketing strategy more than a tad obtuse. You don’t have to be a limp-wristed Peter Allen devotee to determine that there’s something not quite right about this attempt at selling beer.

Surely it is particularly peculiar—if not downright ironical—that the pusher of this “Don’t be a fag” advertising blitzkrieg is Milwaukee’s Best Light. We mean, come on: What kind of manly man drinks light beer? That’s about as masculine as an enema, for crying out loud. Or Tom Cruise.

Nor, we should add, does Milwaukee’s Best Light appear to qualify as a particularly “gay” product, either. Wouldn’t they prefer cosmopolitans? Or at least Zima?

In fact, we, the crack young staff of “The Hatemonger’s Quarterly,” believe that the only people who buy Milwaukee’s Best Light are those with a bit too much cash to buy malt liquor, but who want to watch their waistline.

Frankly, in comparison with dabbing your pizza with a napkin, delighting in a can of Milwaukee’s Best Light is way gay.

Posted at November 7, 2005 12:01 AM | TrackBack