It’s one thing to plot and scheme in a marketing meeting about building a beer — and an ad campaign for said beer — appealing specifically to women. It’s another thing to go public with your ploy and fess-up to the fact that you think women choose their alcoholic beverage based on looks and calories.
Carlsberg Brewery has done just that in launching Copenhagen last week in Denmark. (Global roll-out is planned for next year.)
You don’t have to be a woman to appreciate the good-looking bottle design, nor the straightforward name, appearing on a simple black and white, elegant, no frills label. The taste is not too strong; not too weak. It’s an all-around face-value skinny beer.
But maybe Carlsberg should have left it at that. Really no need to present it as “an alternative to white wine,” or to release: “There may be situations where [women] are standing in a bar and want their drinks to match their style. In this case, they may well reject a beer if the design does not appeal to them.”
Yup. They said that out loud.
Why not just add: “Hey, ladies. We’re sorry we’ve used lures in the past to get people to buy our beer. It was shallow of us, and we now know that people are smarter than we thought. Sorry ’bout that.” Or, “Hey, ladies, we know you don’t always trust men, and for good reason. I mean, look at the newspapers. But you can trust us. We’re reformed, kinder, gentler, and even cleaner than before. No more secrets.”
Call us cynical, but this beer seems more like an admission, a confession, a peace-pipe.
Surely, Carlsberg didn’t mean to insult, but we can’t help find the whole thing patronizing. Or just kind of silly.
In any case, apology accepted.