SABMiller, Your Hands Are Cold


Increasingly finding comfort with same-sex and sexiness in the same ad, this is the most progressive print campaign effort from Miller to date -- and the only beer ad ever to target gay women alone

In case anyone was to dismiss the two women who are nuzzling close together as just friends, the ad even states "more than friends."

The ad is an evolution of promotional materials in women's bars for the last few years. "We thought it was time to talk to them," says Mike Giger of Zapatoni, the agency that created the campaign. "Guys don't make up 100% of our market."

The ads were developed after talking to gay focus groups. "We showed them models first, and they liked the young, attractive, multi-cultural trendy people with a 'going out' look and feel," says Giger. "We're seeing more and more couples in ads today but we cam out with something that's got a lot more sexuality than everybody else but we're still tasteful." Focus groups reported that there's "no need to tip-toe around the sexuality."

Miller and Anheuser-Busch have the distinction of being among the few companies that advertises in gay media and also have a mainstream media commercial with a gay theme.

Beer companies are well represented in The Commercial Closet, largely due to an effort in the mid-1990s to pull away from the industry's longterm sexist advertising themes that objectified women. Such commercials were summed up by the Swedish Bikini Team ads from Stroh Brewing Co. for Old Milwaukee. Looking for new material to mine, brewers began extensively playing with gay and transgender themes in their advertising. However, because beer drinkers are stereotypically macho, the tone of many of the ads were more negative.

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