"Everything offends somebody. You can't explicitly market to any particular group." — some Skyy John wisdom With national women's marches, pussy hats, and the #metoo movement on display front and center for America, it's easy to see why booze companies would want to shift their marketing focus toward women in an attempt to support gender equality. The future is female AF (to paraphrase the popular slogan), and with women spending $20 trillion globally and controlling 60% of the wealth in the U.S., it's obvious that alcohol producers need to either get on the XX train or get run over by it. But the overt marketing attempts by many of these big brands are falling flat, or even worse, just straight-up pissing people off. Which, to be fair, happens a lot with marketing anyway, but it still seems worth asking: Is that really the best way to create buzz for a brand? Instead of pandering to women with changes to labels on the bottles or saying a drink is for women just because it's fruitier and has a lower ABV, it seems that the consensus among the residents of tipsy town in regards to what these companies should be doing is this: Just make the best damn product possible, and even if it is aimed at a particular gender, don't bother with hyping that aspect up — it will only backfire. https://vimeo.com/258276581 Even the above tongue-in-cheek video from Scottish craft beer company Brewdog poking fun at the "pink is for girls" sentiment with its own pink beer managed to backfire, resulting in the company putting up what amounted to a retraction post called "PINK AGAIN" with the subtitle "Well, that escalated quickly..." As far as opinions in the office, it's pretty obvious Skyy thinks that these kinds of marketing efforts never work as they intend to. "We live in politically correct times," he says, "as motherf**king politically correct as the world has ever been... so you can't market toward women and men separately... you have to go broad. Market for everyone." He adds that "you can gear a product toward women, but don't market it outright toward women. Any one of the products you're talking about, everybody drinks it. Nothing is popular totally with only one gender."
Shina, who's 21 and presumably in the center of the alcohol companies' marketing scopes, adds that when it comes to these kinds of overt campaigns she thinks that "they're usually just marketing schemes so that the alcohol companies seem like good guys..." She does, however, note that "if done correctly, I think [they] can work in some situations." Then with one particularly insightful comment, Shina offered another take on the blatant branding: "To be honest, I don't think women even care about this sh*t though."
And when we polled the Tipsy audience on Twitter, the overwhelming consensus was that heavy-handed female branding toward women comes across as gimmicky rather than supportive of gender equality: It should also be noted that there are most definitely exceptions to the rule of not overtly marketing toward women. And those exceptions come from companies that were either founded by or run by women. Nobody seems to have a problem with Skinnygirl's branding — the company was sold by founder Bethenny Frankel to Fortune Brands for a cool $100 million — and the new Yes Way Rosé line now in Target is the brainchild of a pair of women who organically grew a more feminine-leaning brand.

Happy International Women's Day to all of the big dreaming, hard working, rosé loving ladies out there. This photo was taken during one of our happiest (+proudest) moments as women and friends in business together. #IWD2018 #heyladiés #tanklife #tankgirls #yeswayrosé

A post shared by Yes Way Rosé (@yeswayrose) on

So what's the point here? Basically, what we're saying is that if team Tipsy were the marketing consultant for any one of these major booze companies, we'd say that you can make products for any group you damn well please, but don't holler about it and stick it in people's faces. Different demographics will be attracted to different products — that's going to happen regardless of how they're marketed. But the blatant marketing attempts to, in this case, woo women, will either be met with utter indifference or outright contempt. In other words, be smooth when it comes to supporting gender equality in the realm of alcohol. As smooth as some delicious barrel-aged whiskey pitched by Mila Kunis: https://www.youtube.com/embed/F_Vk5iloGrw What are your thoughts on this topic? Do you think booze companies' attempts at blatantly branding for women to show their solidarity will ever work? Give us your thoughts, people! Addendum!  Skyy went out to buy a bottle of Jane Walker, and apparently it was flying off the damn shelves. He also digs having it as a collector's item — only 250,000 will be produced. So maybe overt marketing does piss a lot of people off, but it still, apparently, moves a lot of product. Either way, we continue to think the more subtle approach is the right way to go.  

Featured Image: Brewdog

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