Great article this morning on the Bitch Beer site on the intersection of craft beer and sexual imagery in advertising.

Author Caroline attended a roller derby event where South Austin Brewing had purchased some ad space in the program and utilized that hoary old cliche of a sexy looking woman to sell their beer.

Win. That ad has now gotten them tens of thousands of dollars in free advertising via the dust up on social media that the Bitch Beer article spurred.

Caroline ponders the ad thusly: “Not only did it seem to be an odd fit for roller derby, a sport that’s actually about empowering women to compete versus turning them into oversexed sidelinettes, it seemed a poor fit for craft beer.”

Huh?

Type in roller derby on Tumblr. or any popular photo sharing site and you’ll see more sexed up advertising pushing the various girl teams (Las Putas Del Fuego, Heavy Metal Hookers) than any ten “lads mags” The groups behind the various roller girl teams know how powerful sexualizing their athletes is and act accordingly.

It puts asses in the seats and money in their bank accounts.

The author continues:

“Never before have I been confused about whether a craft brewery is selling beer or sex.”

They’re just selling.

And it works.

The folks at South Austin Brewing are practicing the same policies as the promoters of female roller derby groups. Both utilize the cliche of sexed up women folk for one thing; to line their coffers with money.

All the hand-wringing in the world won’t change it and our grandchildren will be having this exact same debate.

As much as I love craft beer, let’s not lose sight of the fact that it’s a commercial product and will always be treated as such.

Roller derby leagues across the US are running ads using scantily clad women with provocative nicknames to coax people into attending their events.

Once you’re there, you’ll have the added benefit of seeing dozens of girls in tiny outfits rollerskating their hearts out. And why do you think a league in NYC had roller girls who garnered the most penalty minutes engage in pillow fights?

I was at the earliest roller girl events in Austin back at the dawn of the double aughts. Even back then the Hellcats, Rhinestone Cowgirls, Holy Rollers and the Putas del Fuego knew that the best way to get people out to the events was to have local poster artists use hypersexualized women on their advertisements.

It worked.

Still does.

Won’t be changing any time soon.

Read the article on Bitch Beer http://bitchbeer.org/2013/02/13/how-to-alienate-female-beer-drinkers-in-one-easy-step/

———————————————————————————

Update: I noted a bunch of traffic coming off Eater via a site gadget to this article. A commenter over that way with the snazzy name of “guest” had this to say to the Scrumptious Chef article above

———————————————————————————

“By a “nice take” you mean one that tells the little ladies to STFU already and let the boys in charge stare at their tits, because that’s just the way things are and will always be?

Here’s a newsflash: roller derby women choosing how, when and where to promote their sport is a far cry from beer companies slapping half-naked women on cans because men like tits and beer. One is an example of agency, the other is an example of objectification.”

—————————————————————————————

Here’s another newsflash to the “guest.” You can’t have it both ways. You can’t call an ad that features heaving bosoms “agency” if it’s authored by a woman, and “objectification” if it’s authored by a man.

They’re one and the same. It doesn’t matter how you wish to couch your phrasing.

And a century from now, much wringing of hands and renting of cloth will still be occurring over scantily clad women’s images being used to sell stuff; whether it’s craft beer or tickets to events where women are the featured athletes.

And it’s never going to change.

Also, note must be made that in the comments below it’s revealed that a woman named Eva Strangelove conceptualized the original beer ad that stirred the controversy.

So, that’s agency right?

Cause women are incapable of “objectification”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes:

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>