BrewDog takes aim at gendered marketing with the ironic launch of Pink IPA

Pink IPA, Beer for Girls

BrewDog has launched a beer brand for women – but rather than being nothing more than an offensive palette swap to cynically attract female consumers, the pink branded bottle aims to represent a stand against lazy, gendered marketing.

Milking the maligned ‘for women’ marketing trope that is perhaps most famously defined by Bic, the brewer is looking to run a series of initiatives to outline the pay deficit between the sexes off the back of the launch.

Pink IPA: Beer for Girls will be packaged in lurid pink branding to jump off shelves at its target audience. Meanwhile, for the next four weeks, 20% of sales from the brand and its flagship Punk IPA offering will be donated to the Women’s Engineering Society (WES).

The brewer is also offering a 20% discount to women who buy Pink IPA in its bars as a means of stoking conversations about unfairness.

The company will use the pledge to also try to attract female talent to its operations, underlining it is “interested and invested in developing a new wave of diversity in brewing”.

Sarah Warman, global head of marketing at BrewDog, said the current gender pay gap shows that a lot of lip service is being paid, and very little action is being taken.

“We want to accelerate change by empowering more women to make their voices heard and calling out industries and employees that need to do more," she said. "With Pink IPA, we are making a statement the only way we know how – with beer.”

She outlined that women only make up a “small but growing percentage” of her peers in the industry.

“Sexism in the beer industry is rife," she continued. "We can no longer ignore that its existence prevents plenty of incredible women joining our eclectic and exciting industry. There is a long history of products that pander and patronise through harmful, sexist stereotypes and vulgar imagery, and we’re rallying to put an end to this nonsense. The love of beer is not gendered. Beer is universal. Beer is for everyone.”

The product will go on sale in South Korea, Ireland, Germany, USA and The Netherlands.

Amelia Brophy, head of data products UK at YouGov said three quarters (76%) of BrewDog fans are male, while just one in four (24%) are female. "Four in ten (43%) of all those that like the brand believe that having products specifically made for men or women enforces stereotypes. However, when looking specifically at women that like BrewDog, this increases to 63%."

Furthermore, close to half (49%) said they would like a a company to have a moral message, against 30% that don’t mind if it doesn’t. Brophy added: "So, while BrewDog certainly has an opportunity to appeal to women, this particular campaign may have missed the target due to the messaging behind it.”

It follows the non-ironic launch of Jane Walker, Johnnie Walker's temporary rebrand designed to both mark International Women's Day and get women drinking more whisky.

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