I love hoppy beers, so up front, I’m going to say before I get into my other reasons, I do not like Stella Artois.
I don’t like the taste of it, and frankly, I don’t understand why it is so popular. I’d take a Trumer over Stella any day.
However, my real problem is with their current ad campaign. Their slogan is, “She is a thing of beauty.”
Okay, right off the bat it’s easy to see the issue with that slogan.
Women are things; women are things like beer is a thing.
In the ad, a blonde woman is sitting across from a guy in a suit who is creepily watching her drink a Stella. The imagery is odd because it seems like a he is making her participate in his weird fetish.
Also, (clever ad guys, clever), we can’t tell if “she” refers to the beer or the hot woman. I totally see what you did there. Yup, no difference between the thing and the girl. Which is beautiful? Both? Or just the beer? I read it as the beer is the beautiful one, but the woman thinks it’s her.
Silly lady, you are not nearly worth as much as an object.
Then there’s the TV ad featuring Adrien Brody. I don’t know why Adrien Brody, an Oscar winner, feels he needs to be in a beer commercial, but I guess we all have bills to pay.
In the commercial, he plays a supposedly French cabaret singer. He is at aÂ stereotypical French bar, surrounded by attractive women and accompanied by a jazz band. He sings a song, seemingly to the women, who are all crying over his show of emotion, and feelings for the “woman” in his song.Â At the end, you find out he’s singing about beer.
The commercial is just awful, outside of being offensive; it’s just not well-done. He has this weird French accent and in the lyrics (though, admittedly, I can’t understand the whole song, and I can’t find the lyrics written out), he at some point says something about “beheading” his love while a bartender slashes the foam, or “head,” off a Stella.
Once again, the audience doesn’t know if the thing worthy of all this affection and anguish is a woman or a beer, and like the unfortunately dim woman in the print ad, these ladies in the bar are also silly enough to think that they are worth more than a beer.
While most beer ads are not meant for women and have ridiculous or disturbing imagery, this one is particularly upsetting because it has the appearance of being sophisticated. The ads don’t have a bunch of everyday Joes being schlubby sports fans, or any real, self-aware humor like ads for Bud Light or Coors. In those ads, it’s pretty par for the course to see some scantily-clad woman with a chubby, unshaven t-shirt-and-jeans guy.
These Stella ads just seem more insidious. At least in other beer ads, women aren’t being called “things” outright.