Interbrew wants more women drinkers

Two large brewing companies say its time to make women an important part of beer advertising — and they’re not talking about bikini-clad babes.

Interbrew, which sells a wide range of brands, has urged the British beer industry to adopt a genderless style of advertising in order to appeal to what it calls beer’s lost drinkers. Interbew sells beer worldwide, including Stella Artois, Boddingtons, Labatt Blue, Lowenbrau and Rolling Rock.

Meanwhile, Canada’s Molson Ale it building on its “twin-label technology” with a new print campaign in May magazines.

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The new separate yet linked ads target men and women in the 21-25 age group. In the May issue of Cosmopolitan, a handsome blond model is pictured with a pair of twin golden retriever puppies in his arms. He’s also clasping a Molson. Text reads, “His address: the intersection of confidence and compassion. His beer: Molson Canadian.”

In Playboy, FHM and Ramp, the “girl” ad is embedded in a complicated “science project.” The advertisement includes a small product shot, a copy of the Cosmo ad, a technical drawing of a woman radiating attraction for a Molson-drinking man, and some lengthy text in black and red letters, and tells guys what Molson is doing for them. For example, text below the Cosmo ad gives the media price for a page ($179,630) in that magazine.

“We’re letting them know that while other beers are not doing much for their social life, we’re going to great personal expense to bring women into your love-basement grotto,” said a director for the agency that created the ads.

Sales for the Canadian brewery have risen 30% in the last six months, since launching its twin-label campaign. The twin labels are designed to be conversation starters. Bottles of Molson Canadian and Candian Light carry labels on the back with messages such as “On The Rebound,” “I See London, I See France,” “I Just Want To Be Held,” “Be Different. Say Yes,” and of course, “Can I Get Your Number?”

In England, Interbrew issued a report that said: “The traditional lager lads advertising, when they have a laugh at women’s expense, turns off many women so there is a need for advertisers to develop a different sort of maleness that reflects contemporary attitudes.”

The company warns that wine will overtake all types of beer in terms of its share of the alcoholic drinks market within 10 years. While UK beer sales have been declining for 20 years, sales of wine increased 35% over the last five years, and are estimated to grow by a further 20% over the next four years.

Interbrew believes the way to boost sales is to target female drinkers, who currently account for 26% of beer drank outside the home and 11% bought from shops, and over 50-year-olds, which the report describes as a “grey opportunity.”

“Beer remains by far the most popular alcoholic drink, despite the growing popularity of wine and premium packaged spirits,” said Stewart Gilliland, chief executive of Interbrew. “However, the level of competition is intensifying so we must work together to communicate beer’s many attributes to ensure it remains the number one choice.”

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