Over at his HQ, Mark Simpson and others have been discussing how Beer Went Queer…
Our discussion focussed on beer advertising and how it is presented as a ‘manly’ beverage, even though, as the ads can’t help but refer to, we all know it is what men drink when they want ‘a break from being MEN’, when they want to let their hair (and maybe their trousers) down with their ‘buddies’. And as you can see beer ads are getting queerer by the day.
But I started wondering about beer advertising aimed at women. If sales are down, and gender roles are changing, surely some beer companies would target women consumers?
Well yes and no. This ad for that very fagly beer Miller Lite, features two women drinking, but, it is not what it appears at first:
Phew! I actually found that quite hot. But it is clear the ad is playing on the cliched male fantasy of blokes wanting to see girl on girl action, especially when they have had a few. And the reaction of the two women companions of the men having the ‘fantasy’ shows that the ad is very much aimed at men not women. because we all know the ‘lesbian mud fight’ fantasy is a sign of ‘manliness’ don’t we boys?
But inspite of its pretentions, Miller Lite can’t resist queering its own manly fantasies of itself, and after the controversial ‘catfight’ ad (I think it was banned in some places or censored/edited), came this, rather more limp-wristed ‘dawg fight’ version. Handbags at the ready girls…
The irony here being that it is only when women consumers are the target of a beer advert that men are allowed to be shown as unashamedly ‘gay’.
But the thing I get from all the adverts that involve a ‘fantasy’ scenario, or voyeurism, is that whoever is fantasising and whatever the gender identities of those they fantasise about, the queerness can’t be denied. As soon as people watch each other in a sexual way, especially with a companion, they are unable to do so completely ‘straight’ or completely ‘gay’. I think this commercial for Moosehead (‘Light’ of course) proves my point:
Enjoy your (bisexual) nature, beer drinkers. Cheers!