Beer and Gay Men


As far as I can remember, beer ads have always targeted a traditionally “masculine” crowd. Some of my fondest childhood memories were watching the Super Bowl halftime Anheuser-Busch ads. The association of beer with football serves to reinforce the notion that “only real men drink beer.” As of late, however, the beer industry has been targeting other niche consumer groups.

In the attached Coors Light ad, we see two attractive men dancing together. The scene suggests that they are gay, as one gropes the other’s inner thigh. The way in which the two men interact intimates that some sort of sexual encounter is likely to ensue. In tandem with the image of the two men, Coors makes the association between its product and coming out of the closet with the line, “Out is refreshing.” In the background, we see positive words like “equality,” “bold,” and “diverse,” that homosexual men might associate with themselves and that Coors hopes they will come to associate with its brand. At the bottom of the advertisement, Coors proudly displays that it is amongst the “Best Places to Work” according to the Human Rights Campaign.”

Some might make the claim that this ad poses serious concerns because it portrays a narrow image of what homosexual men and couples ought to look like. It features two attractive, muscular, and well-dressed men. Although one of the men is black, he is light-skinned. I tend to disagree with this overly stringent take on the representation of homosexuality in advertisement. The very nature of marketing is to elicit positive associations between a product and particular qualities. Here, those qualities mostly include physical strength, progressive thinking, and human rights.

Coors Light. Advertisement. Coors, n.d. Web. 23 Oct. 2013.


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