Friday, October 28, 2011

No. 140: "Beer Commercials."

I have a bachelor's degree in advertising, which means three things: I suck at math, I have mild sociopathic tenancies, and I understand the ins and outs of brand marketing. Whenever I'm watching strong man competitions, 90's action movies starring Nicholas Cage or shows about boobs and explosions I see a myriad of commercials targeted at my demographic: dude that drinks. Most of these ads are entertaining and humorous; but they take a bit too many artistic liberties. It just doesn't seem realistic. Keep reading and I'll explain.

Light Beer:
Main Brands: Bud Light, Coors Light, Miller Lite

Usually it will be set in a neighborhood bar at 2 P.M. on a Wednesday. It will be packed full of people who are not drunk as the floors are clean of puke and sloppy chicks aren't giving handy's in the back booths. Somehow, the patrons of the bar all decided to take a half-day from their job and partake in some day drinking. Whenever I go to a bar before five on a weekday all I see is a bunch of burnouts, truckers and my dad.

The dudes in these commercials all come from the same semi-successful-late-twenties-white-dudes-and-one-black-dude cookie cutter. They're not models, but aren't obese slobs either; although they're all rocking 5 o'clock shadows and wearing t-shirts, which is perfectly kosher in corporate America.

All of the chicks in light beer commercials are super hot and have a little bit of sass. Whether it's the foxy bartender who looks like she's 19 giving advice on what is and is not "manly" or the group of women who roll their eyes at the buffoonery of the dudes' antics. Chicks never look dumb in these commercials. Rather, they all seem like amazing girlfriends for dating guys well below their pay-grade that only hang out with their buddies and lie to them about going out.

It's not always at a happening bar. It could be a tailgating event, living room or pool party. Three things have to happen though: 1) A group of guys have to come up with a ridiculous idea that they think is amazing after drinking too much of the product featured. 2) The female(s) have to either insult or belittle the group of guys without seeming like a total bitch. 3) Everyone grabs a beer and cheers as a sports announcer-type tells you to join in on the fun! (and to always drink responsibly).

The Rest:
They never forget to show off their beer's insubstantial new cap, label, design that makes it easier to drink and know that it is cold. You know, since their core demographic would be opening warm beer with their teeth and drinking it upside down if it wasn't for these unprecedented "inventions."

Beer > Girlfriend that wants to have sex.

Regular Beer:
Main Brands: Budweiser, Coors Banquet, MGD

Generally shot at a dimly lit pool hall that "doesn't take kindly to" certain folks, elk's clubs with pictures of dead guys, or out in the wilderness where a man can have time with his thoughts. People that drink these types of beers enjoy life moving at a slower pace; whether it's fishing with your four white friends, building a deck with your four white friends, or shooting shit with your four white friends.

You'll see a lot of late-thirties/early-forties salty men of the sea in these commercials. They have the look of a man that has seen some shit. They're strong-willed, like to get the job done right and are racist true to their ways. Trade in the sports team t-shirts and fitted jeans for some flannel and a pair of dusty Dungarees. They don't talk much, as they're too busy building things and avoiding their family. Also, no minorities are allowed in these commercials. Evennay, especially Italians.

Not Applicable since all women have been reverted back to the 1950's in these ads. They don't have time to enjoy the Rocky Mountain water, high country barley and barreled hops that go into these beers as they are far too busy cooking and cleaning back home. Can't argue with this representation.

There will be shots of nature intermittently crossed with men (not dudes, men) doing manly things. A slow country song will be playing in the background as a grizzled voice-over describes yourself and your values in vivid detail. The bars are never crowded, but rather sparingly occupied by a couple men with checkered pasts.

The Rest:
Occasionally there will be beautiful horses galloping across the countryside in these ads. I'm not sure why that makes me want to drink their beer, but it does. Here is a short list of things you will not see in these ads:
-Bikini-clad women
-Anyone under 30
-Pool parties
-Polite conversation
-Sophomoric hijinks

Coors Banquet: Mustaches Mandatory.

Imported Beer:
Brands: Corona, Dos Equis, Heineken.

These commercials will regularly take place at some tropical or exotic locale since people that drink beer that is slightly more expensive seem to always be vacationing in Monaco or the Cayman Isles. Whether it's a gala black tie affair or a blue ocean beachfront; imported beer drinkers have fucking class. There are no sports bars or Double Deuce's in these ads.

All the dudes in these commercials seem to be some sort of James Bond prototype that are equally as sophisticated as they are charming. Which all beer drinkers believe they are after their ninth bottle. They use braggadocio to galvanize their female counterparts with regal stories of their adventures taming lions in South Africa, winning obscure sporting events and playing music for Norwegian royalty. Instead of just popping a roofie in her drink like most dudes who drink Heineken do.

The chicks in these commercials do not speak much. They are very attractive, and all seem to be some sort of hot race-hybrid that you can't put your finger on. It's like Jessica Alba and Nicole Scherzinger scissored and somehow were able to conceive offspring. For the most part, they will either be wearing bikinis or expensive cocktail dresses while giving you that "don't even think about hitting on me" look through piercing blue eyes.

I find it funny how many of these commercials are set at the beach. If I tried to bring a glass bottle onto the beach, I would be tackled and maimed by a group of over-juiced lifeguards. I'm not sure how all these people in Corona commercials are getting away with it. I also find it interesting how you never see a group of Mexicans in sombreros taking a siesta next to a saguaro with a beer in their hand. You know, since that's who 90% of the buying market is.

The Rest:
These beers will never be shown in cans, because cans are for cowboys and blue-collar individuals who beat each other with pool cues over paltry disagreements. Exclusivity and class are king for this nectar of the gods. Also, if you try to relax or have a good time without these beers, you will fail miserably and be looked down upon by upper crust-ian society-types. And that would totally ruin your day.


So, there you have it. With each beer bears certain commitment in how you carry yourself. Not every beer is for you. If you like to skip work on a weekday to hang out with your buddies, avoid your girlfriend and make a fool of yourself in front of college co-eds; grab an ice-old, never filling, always crisp light beer. If your weekend is filled with boat building, appreciating the outdoors and beating your wife for burning your dinner; sit down after a long day's work and enjoy the freshest hops and barley this side of the Mississippi in a regular beer. And, if exotic islands, dapper events and pouting supermodels are more your style; sip on some imported beer from your cabana on the beach or riverboat in the south of France. And always drink until you puke responsibility.

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