Coors for the Ladies

Last night, Gillian Edwards left an intriguing comment on my gender preferences post:
I work for an initiative called BitterSweet Partnership in the UK which has been set up to address the fact the UK beer industry has traditionally ignored women (an example being stereotypcial and sexist advertising) Beer shouldn’t be pitched as a masculine drink and it’s great to get other people’s opinions on this.
Sounds good, right? I envisioned a little grassroots effort where women worked to pop the kind of cultural stereotypes I discussed in my post. Pro-beer, pro-women, cool. Sadly, no.

Rather, it's a very highly-produced site owned and operated by the Molson Coors corporation. Using a classic technique, the company is playing to a targeted group with a sympathetic campaign. But while it comes packaged in social-justice wrapping paper, it's just an old-time marketing campaign. Coors has no particular interest in encouraging beer-drinking among women or dispelling long-held stereotypes. They want to encourage women to drink Coors, period.

A couple years ago, Coors launched a Latino-targeted campaign, and with admirable candor, admitted that the goal was to play on emotional sympathies to push product:
"The African American and Hispanic markets together make up nearly one-third of the population in the U.S. and 21 percent of all U.S. males ages 21-34 are Hispanic. While Coors Light's cold refreshment is the same for any consumer, we tailor how we communicate that message to ensure it builds the personality of the brand and connects emotionally with multicultural consumers."
This is no different. It's a company using exactly the same Madison Avenue techniques to appeal to women that it used when it objectified them in ads like the Coors Light twins series. Or the more offensive "Wingman" spots. In politics, this kind of thing is called "astroturf" because it mimics a grassroots campaign. In the commercial sphere, it's just called marketing. Caveat emptor--and for me, no sale.

Coors is not pro-women. It's pro-Coors.