Is Brewdog’s ‘Pink IPA’ packaging all wrong?

Brewdog are the fastest growing brand in the UK and now the 71st highest brand value of all companies in the UK. In other words, the brand that has revolutionised the craft beer industry has done so in dramatic fashion.

Part of the reason for this is the no fucks given mentality and style of the brand. There is a distinct punk attitude to the packaging of the beer as well as the marketing; Brewdog brought out a “Viagra” beer called ‘Royal Virility,’ at the time of the royal wedding, rolled a tank down Camden highstreet in London, and paid a dwarf to campaign outside Westminister for 2/3rd of a pint glasses to be introduced in pubs.

Brewdog first made ‘Pink IPA’ in March 2018. Ithe marketed it as a beer that highlighted the 20% pay gap between men and overtly sexist marketing by beer companies. Each beer, which normally cost £5, was priced at £4 for women.

‘Pink Beer.’

However, it caused a huge stir with people questioning the authenticity of the brand’s intentions; was it just a cynical marketing stunt to sell more beer to women or did the brand genuinely want to raise awareness about gender pay inequality and sexist advertising. Perhaps those the two motives should not be separated but are in fact combined. Either way, people had an issue with the pink design label.

Whenever a joke needs to be explained, it’s probably not a good one. The pink bottle, without the context given in the Twitter post showing a hashtag sarcasm, appears overtly sexist. One Twitter user wrote “I really don’t see how it tackles sexism or the gender pay gap. Doesn’t this label and name just perpetuate sexism further?”

I wondered if the beer could be redesigned to have a more subtle look which, instead of trying to be deliberately controversial, had a more authentic and genuine tone, while keeping in line Brewdog’s punk style. Here is my attempt below:

A more subtle approach. (Designed using Adobe Illustrator and then Adobe Dimension).
Clean design.

The colour blue is more neutral, and the white is a more honest colour which suggests a more genuine attempt to tackle the problem of gender inequality. It is also a colour of can that Brewdog doesn’t already use so it is different enough to be noticeable. As it is the same taste as Brewdog’s flapgship ‘Punk IPA’, I felt there was no need to advertise that fact any differently than they do on the Punk IPA bottles. I chose a can rather than a glass bottle because they are more environmentally friendly! Brewdog ‘For Her,’ is more subtle than the luridly designed ‘Pink IPA,’ I hope, but let me know what you think in the comments section below.

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