Why Are Men in Beer Commercials Idiots?

September 1st 2015

Have you ever noticed men in many commercials for inexpensive beer are high-fiving and laughing and stupid and trying to get 'babes'? I have. But why? Why must we watch these silly beasts? There's actually an interesting answer that goes beyond football season.

"They test in all this stuff, and they know that it's receiving some kind of positive reaction," Dr. Gary Wilcox, a professor in communication at the University of Texas at Austin, told ATTN:. He explained that many women or intellectual men might see a commercial where muscular dudes are high-fiving and partying together and have no interest in it, but that doesn't necessarily mean they won't buy a Coors or a Miller beer. The main drive behind advertising, and in this case, cheap beer commercials, is to implant in people's heads that they will have a fun and crazy time when they drink that beer, regardless of whether they relate to the people in the ad.

However, the people chosen for these ads are no accident either. "It's the guy that drinks the six-pack or more a night that they're targeting," Wilcox said.

So who drinks at least six Coors Lights a night? Bros. It turns out there are some statistics behind this. About 80 percent of beer is consumed by men in the U.S., and it's specifically mostly consumed by white men who like domestic beers such as Coors or PBR. We're talking white college guys to middle aged working white guys, mostly. Women tend to prefer wine and liquor, with only 20 percent identifying beer as their preference in 2013. Therefore, the advertising targets the young, white male who loves to down two six-packs, rather than someone who just wants two beers.

Your loyalty and laughs count

"The nature of the product is such that it's a convenience product, and we don't do a lot of thinking about what kind of beer we buy, generally speaking," Wilcox said. Since beer isn't a necessary purchase, many would say, they have to convince you to get it by distinguishing themselves by how funny or exciting their commercials are. "There isn't much difference between Coors and these other beers, so to speak, and it's just perception of the brand," he said. As Wilcox noted, there isn't usually much a price difference, so grabbing a customer's loyalty is key.

Craft beer movement

Ready for a craft beer? You'll notice craft beer commercials tend to be a little more mysterious and complex, and that's because the demographic is quite different. Craft beer is typically, and rightfully, associated with white men in their 20s and 30s, which has been accurate for some time. These men tend to be more educated and have a higher income than the average person. That said, things are changing. Women between the ages of 21 and 34 now consume craft beer above the national average, and women in that age range consume 15 percent of all craft beer. Furthermore, households in the bottom 60 percent for income now consume about 40 percent of craft beer, meaning people who don't have a lot of money are finding ways to indulge in better beers. With all that said, that's why the commercials are a little different, because the customers are a little more diverse and hard to identify.

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