Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Postmodern beer advertising from Molson?

This is kind of hard to believe, but also quite remarkable.

After years of serving up ads that insinuiate that drinking their brand of beer will make you attractive to the opposite sex, Molson has decided to go meta.

The above ad, according to Sociological Images, appeared in Cosmopolitan. Just look at that sensitive, but ruggedly manly, dude with the adorable puppies and matching sweater and cap. A fine catch for any heterosexual woman! And look here! He's drinking a Molson!

While not very credible in its forced cuddliness, this ad probably went unnoticed between all the photoshopped boobs and bums that make up most of the ads in a women's mag.

But then someone caught wind of the other side of the campaign, that ran in FHM and Playboy:


As you read this, women across America are reading something very different: an advertisement (fig. 1) scientifically formulated to enhance their perception of men who drink Molson. The ad shown below, currently running in Cosmopolitan magazine, is a perfectly tuned combination of words and images designed by trained professionals.  Women who are exposed to it experience a very positive feeling.  A feeling which they will later project directly onto you. Triggering the process is as simple as ordering a Molson Canadian (fig. 2).

Extravagent dinners.  Subtitled movies. Floral arrangements tied together with little pieces of hay. It gets old.  And it gets expensive, depleting funds that could go to a new set of of 20-inch rims. But thanks to the miracle of Twin Advertising Technology, you can achieve success without putting in any time or effort. So drop the bouquet and pick up a Molson Canadian…

Sociological Images editor Lisa Wade (a respected blogging ally, I should disclose) was offended by the ruse, writing "The second ad, then, portrays men as lazy, shallow jerks who are just trying to get laid (not soft and sensitive at all). And it portrays women as stupid and manipulable."

But I think Molson was on to something here. And it has to do with the nature of the trick.

There is no way any male reader of those magazines would take the "Male" ad seriously. It is a parody of the many "how to pick up girls" ads that have been gracing those kinds of publications since the '60s.

It also needs to be seen in context of the culture of pranking Millennials have grown up with. While some women might be offended by the goofy trick, others may get as much of a laugh out of it as the men.

What do you think?

UPDATE: ├ůsk, from Adland, tells me this campaign is old. Like, real old. (It's always good to know the internet's longest-running ad blogger!)


  1. I'm glad I came back and saw that update while i was working on my own post. 10 year old ad? I think I'll just scrap that one.