The de-louting of lager?

I looked up at the TV last night only because someone was murdering 'A Wondrous Place'.

For about thirty seconds, the moodily-lit advert ran through a gamut of slo-mo clichés. Aftershave, perhaps? Teeth whitening? Haemorrhoid cream? Nope; Carling.

Gone are the matey larks of previous campaigns This re-branding seems to be aiming for Mr Metrosexual. Hard on its heels is the announcement that Molson Coors are dropping sponsorship of the Football League Cup after what seems an eternity (fourteen years is a long time in football. Especially for Nottingham Forest).

Meanwhile, Carslberg are doing what Carslberg do best; viral campaigning. The Belgium Bikers video is spreading like chlamydia during fresher's week.

Heineken already have the prancing-man commercial to persuade us that lager is A Lot More Sophisticated Than Wot You Thought. An advert, incidentally, that was the subject of a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. The complainant being Molson Coors. Who had previously been the subject of another complaint over a Carling advert. The complainant being Heineken. I look forward to both beverages being served in black pots / kettles in the near future.

Even Foster's have toned down the Ozzy banter of late. And featured Holly Vallance in their adverts. Good call?

In their own, very different, ways the message seems to be:

Lager isn't scary any more.

But can even the might of global brewers and fancy ad campaigns divorce the words lager and lout from the common lexicon of beer? My hunch is we'll have to suffer more than a few moody adverts with piss-poor cover versions in the not-too distant future.

I hope the cartoonist Gareth Plumb doesn't mind the reproduction of his lout.


  1. Stella have been trying for years and not managed it.

  2. Thanks for the unanticipated Forest mention.

    I'd only just managed to get the numbers '1' and '5' out of my poor, beleaguered mind.


  3. No, Anonymous. Stella have always set themselves apart as classy lout, whether it's flowers in the window or pseudo-Franglais couchons.

    And, yes, I still drink it.

    Hearty... there are good times. There are bad times. Right now, being a double-European-Cup-winning side getting shafted by third-rate clubs that ought to be in administration is tough. A damn site worse when you live in Derby. Married to a Rams supporter.

  4. I've said for a while now that the 1664 adverts with Madness and Motorhead doing laid-back versions of thier songs in a cosy, sunday-lunchtime pub vibe is actually a decent advert if they weren't all sat around drinking shit lager.