Shut Up and Drink Your Beer

Companies and social efforts make for odd bedfellows. While we’d like them to do good, it’s hard to not see such efforts as dubious. Case in point: the Refresh Everything campaign. In it, Pepsi forsook their annual Super Bowl spot in favor of a pseudo-philanthropic crowd exercise. Pepsi seemed to start from the right place, but ultimately pitted groups against one another, as they scurried to win the loot. It left Pepsi looking like the rich kid, using his dough to gain friends. (Terry argues the effort pushed them into the #3 spot.) Argentinian beer brand Norte (with the help of Del Campo Nazca Saatchi & Saatchi) seems to have learned from this. In their “Best Excuse Ever” campaign, they address two key points Pepsi missed: the laziness of users, and appropriate brand tie-in. Their pitch: just drink Norte beer and good things are done on your behalf, after which you can reward themselves by (that’s right) drinking more beer. Look more closely, and the message does seem a little wonky and sexist. It tells men that by drinking more they can bypass ever doing anything significant; similarly, it paints women as vacant dimwits (who apparently don’t drink beer). That’s probably looking too closely, though. This is beer advertising after all. (Whassup.)