an Ad a Day

A look at the marketing that surrounds us.

Coopers Homebrew: Just Add Water!

Posted by Rosepixie on May 16, 2010

This is a magazine ad for Coopers Homebrew All-in-One Microbrewery Beer Brewing Kit.

The text reads:

You’re a man damn it.  Get a man’s hobby.

Brewing beer at home has never been easier.  All you need is a Coopers Microbrew Kit – just add water and wait.

Coopers Homebrew

Brew your own at home.

So I was going to basically ignore the fact that building one of those model train sets – the real ones the hobbyists build, like what’s shown in the picture there, not the pre-fabricated ones you get in kits for little kids that just need to be put in place and they work – are really damn hard to build and take a lot of time, energy and hard work.  But then I realized that was stupid.  People who build those crazy awesome model train sets put in an enormous amount of time and energy on those things.  And money.  Did I mention they get really expensive?  Model trains aren’t cheap.

But apparently a hobby that requires real work and time isn’t “manly”.  Nope.  Manly hobbies are easy involve as little work as possible!  “Just add water” does not strike me as very manly.  It makes me think of all those various kits and things they make for kids that say “just add water!”  You know – you add water to a pill and it grows into a dinosaur shaped sponge!  Or you add water to the top of a plastic volcano where it mixes with powder and you have an instant volcanic eruption in your kitchen!

Actual brewing takes work as well.  It’s actually kind of an art and there are a million different ways you can affect the outcome to get different tasting beer (or ruin the end product entirely).  That’s how so many microbreweries can survive – each makes a different product by doing something slightly different.  And it’s hard work.

See the part about hard work here?  Now, I totally get that model trains aren’t “cool”, but that doesn’t make them not a real hobby.  I guess what I’m saying is that I have a hard time taking this ad seriously when it shows a hobby that’s really hard to do and says it’s not a “man’s hobby” and then says something that’s so easy you “just add water and wait” is a “man’s hobby”.  This makes me think that either they have no idea what they’re talking about or that they have very low opinions of men.

And the saddest thing is that I’m sure this works.  I’m sure that there are men who buy these kits and pride themselves on having more manly hobbies than others because of this kind of message.  And I hate that.

I also have to wonder if the company’s ads are all like this or if they have any that don’t play on masculinity like this, because I’m certain that they’d find a receptive audience for their product if they advertised to women as well – after all, women drink beer too.  If anyone can find me other ads from this company that are less focused on just the narrow-minded manly-men demographic I’d be extremely interested!


One Response to “Coopers Homebrew: Just Add Water!”

  1. Eva said

    Chuck Norris is so manly that he brews beer in his model trains. 😉

    Seriously though, if the best they can come up with for their ad is fundamentally “if you were a real man you’d buy our shit”… that’s pretty sad. It probably works sometimes, but they should hire better advertising people.

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