BrewDog's Pink IPA launch: misguided and a missed opportunity

BrewDog's Pink IPA launch: misguided and a missed opportunity
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Women who like the brand don't agree with gender specific marketing

As beer brand BrewDog has grown from disrupter to major industry player, it has managed to forge a unique reputation for itself, based on memorable ad campaigns and clever positioning.

However, its launch of a ‘Pink IPA’ to coincide with International Women’s Day, appears to be a rare misstep. 

The Pink IPA has been described as a beer brand for women. However, the company has tried to communicate that rather than a lazy attempt at appealing to women, the drink is in fact satirical, as part of an effort to highlight and malign marketing that is gender specific, as well as the disparity in pay between genders.

While critics have largely stated that the campaign is well-intended, several have accused the brand of being ‘tone death’.

YouGov data does indicate that there is something of a gender imbalance in terms of who BrewDog is appealing to. Our Profiles tool shows that of those that like the brand, 76% are male, while only 24% are female.

Our data also reveals that 43% of those that like the brand believe that having products specifically made for men or women enforces stereotypes. However, when looking at women that like BrewDog, this increases to 63%.

Added to this, those that are fond of BrewDog do appreciate a company with a social conscience – close to half of this group (49%) say that they like a company to have a moral message, against 30% that don’t mind if it doesn’t.  

So, while there is certainly an opportunity for BrewDog to appeal to women, this particular campaign may have missed the target due to the messaging behind it. In this case, BrewDog had to put too much resource into explaining its actions, indicating that there was a lack of clarity and simplicity – in short, the public didn’t get it.  

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