“Ho White” Brings Beer Ads To A New, Strange Low

howhitebeerJamieson Brewery in Australia found an innovative new way to advertise beer: slutty women! Well, not just any women, fictional Disney characters to be exact. The brewery teamed up with Australian advertising agency The Foundry to create new ads for its raspberry-flavored beer. The ad centered around “Ho White,” a Snow White-esque character who is pictured lying nude in a post-coital haze with her seven dwarfs, (from left to right) Judgey, Cry Baby, Creepy, Pervy, Loony, Sleepy and Mad-He-Couldn’t-Get-It-Up-y. In the lower right a product shot of the Raspberry Ale is set next to the tag line, “Anything But Sweet.”

Sure, the ad is pretty offensive, especially considering they crowned their sexually promiscuous spoke woman with the title of “ho.” The use of a sexy (cartoon) woman and jokes at her expense are anything but new in the male-dominated advertising industry but they are usually evidence of laziness, not intentional misogyny. Sex is the easiest thing to sell in the world and making fun of or punishing women for enjoying sex is a practice that is as old as sex itself. Drawing the line between sex (fun!) with alcohol (fun!) is an easy and common one, but it can be done better than by calling a woman a slut and showing a glimpse of cartoon cleavage.

Not only is the subject of the ad lazy, but it also just doesn’t make any sense. What does a woman having an orgy with little people say about Jamieson Brewery’s Raspberry Ale? That if you drink this beer (if you’re a man) you will be able to gather six of your closest friends to have sex with a woman or (if you’re a woman) you will engage in group sex with seven tiny old men wearing similar hats? Doesn’t that sound enticing? And why does Disney have to come into the mix, aren’t there other examples of sweet things that could be turned “naughty” without the confusing use of storybook characters and little people? The thought of my childhood heroes having sex with multiple undesirable men doesn’t really make me want to drink flavored beer, or anything for that matter. It is just sorta…gross. Not Marge Simpson nude in Playboy-level of gross, but pretty close up there. Disney must find it pretty gross as well since they got pissed about the ad and (most likely) contributed to having the campaign’s website taken down and the ads removed from The Foundry’s website.

Perhaps the most confusing aspect of this campaign is that I can’t really figure out who they are trying to market towards. Flavored beer has long been a stereotypically favored drink of women. From a woman’s perspective, the ad isn’t that appealing: who wasn’t to drink beer, be called a whore and get with seven little old men who keep their hats on during sex? Maybe the company was trying to expand their market to men, but marketing berry-flavored beer to men is sort of akin to marketing Alizé to men. You just shouldn’t do it.

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