Two ladies, on prime time TV, discussing how a beer complements a barbecued lamb dish. The beer is then shown in a stemmed glass on a table in a civilised environment.
This is an actual ad. And it’s excellent.
You can watch it here: https://au.lifestyle.yahoo.com/perfectpairing/home/#1
While the beer isn’t a great one, and the script explaining the paring was a little-bit lazy, having beer discussed by females at 7pm on national TV is something I’m not sure I’ve seen before. There was no “but isn’t beer for men!” or “I always thought beer was too bitter…” to drive the conversation. The ad instead just presented it all as a normal and everyday thing to have on TV.
Normalising, rather than preaching, the fact that beer is ok to drink in a nice setting – with friends, both female and male, in a glass and with some food. They even talk about the malt and hops.
This ad has come at the same time a new Hahn “Experience Collector” campaign has been launched.
While Liquourland have lept forward in their marketing, Hahn (via Ogilvy) have wheeled out a tired attempt to try and “create a closer emotional connection with the brand” (You can see the video using that link too).
Their ad has a guy (I thought it was multiple guys but according to their explanation, it is one guy. Whatever, he’s bland as fuck which I’m sure isn’t unintentional) who quits his job and breaks up with his girlfriend and then just goes and lives his life. Picking up a different girl along the way… maybe more than one? I don’t know. Am I the only one that thinks these people all look the same?
Collecting experiences, living his life, picking up chicks.
It’s bizarre that a major advertising agency has such an outdated view and that creating a closer emotional connection seems to just mean “having a blank dude doing stuff that other people might quite like to do”. Putting cliche male fantasy into a one minute ad.
In pure marketing spin, Tanya Marler, Brand Director at Lion (Hahn’s parent comapny) says of the campaign:
Experience Collectors is exactly the kind of thought provoking and inspiring work we aspire to for Hahn SuperDry
What they really mean is “we spent a crapload of cash on filming, editing and buying a feel good song because we saw that Ben Stiller movie a while back and people seemed to like that, right?”.
I’m not saying here that all beer ads need to be aimed at a wider audience. The Liquourland campaign for VB or Carlton Draught would be jarring. Their marketing and brand is clearly aimed at the male segment of the market, just like there are (admittedly non-beer) brands aimed at the female segment of the market. I don’t really take issue with that. The reason the Hahn situation is so disappointing is that they made a new campaign because there was no brand image to begin with. They could have taken any angle they liked, so it’s a shame that the females in the ad just became another experience to collect, rather than an opportunity to shape their brand constructively.
Let’s not focus too much on the negative though. At the end of the day the Hahn ad isn’t really horrible. It’s just lazy, bland, and a bit shit. While the Liquourland campaign, is clearly making a conscious attempt at shifting a shrinking market (as in mainstream beer) and capatilise on the trends in non-mainstream beer.
While I would love to see them highlight some other ranges they carry (wouldn’t Two Birds be a perfect fit for this campaign?) it’s fantastic to have beer on television being discussed normally by two female presenters.
Also the couple of times I’ve been in to my local Liquorland, the lady there has been super nice. We even talked about the Moo Brew beers they had started stocking (Footscray, in case anyone in Coles/Liquorland corporate read this. Give her a raise).
They are shaping their brand as one for everyone. Being constructive and inclusive.
Being able to type that last line sincerely about a major brand is pretty exciting and I hope it’s a sign of change to come.