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Mega mega white thing

2 Jul 11 | Re: Cold beverages

Crazy when pubs have all the different lagers. I’m not against lager at all, but I can recognise that there isn’t much difference between the leading brands. Surely no one’s going to leave because they have to drink Carling instead of Carlsberg. Surely any pub only needs to have a medium-strength lager and a stronger option, and that’s it. Maybe a couple of fancier versions like Bitberger or Hoegaarden or Leffe, but they’re not what I’m really talking about when I say lager.

What is happening with all this lager became clear to me the other day when I was in a pub that served several lagers. A man asked for a Carlsberg and they’d run out. They had Carling, Fosters, Stella, can’t remember what else. I looked at his face while he was deciding and I could see it as clear as day. He wasn’t thinking about taste or alcohol content. He was picturing the ad campaigns for each of these lagers in turn, and deciding which one was closest to his image of himself. Was he more of a matey British bloke? Or a quirky Antipodean-type bloke? Or perhaps a vaguely arty, continental bloke?

I don’t mean to mock. I probably do the exact same thing. In fact I’m even worse, because I’m more likely to choose San Miguel or Kronenburg because they seem a bit more cultured, even though they are quite possibly brewed in the same kind of vats in the room next door to all the others.

This is why it’s difficult to market lager, though. You have to think of a type of bloke that lots of men will see themselves as, without being too similar to the bloke-type already taken by some other lager. And there aren’t that many types of blokes around, I don’t think.

Marketing cask ale is much easier. You just have to think of a mildly amusing name and design an eye-catching pump card and every ale drinker who walks in will say “I haven’t tried that” and buy one. Then in a couple of months, you change the name. There are few connoisseurs left, and those that remain are impossible to sell to.

Posted by YOSHIMI at 20:08

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