A beer for your baby?

This example of what falls into the Ansoff matrix strategy of “market development” shocks me as a Brit. Erdinger Weissbier (a wheat-based Bavarian brew) has been gradually stretching out across different segments to appeal to more than the beer-swilling pot-bellied traditional drinker from home.

So it has positioned a low-alcohol variety to car drivers. An alcohol-free variety to sportsmen (er, apparently it is isotonic…). And now this:

erdinger_alkoholfrei_baby.jpg

This beer is targetted at pregnant and breast-feeding women.

Now if this isn’t treading dangerously, then what is? I’m going to assume they got approval for every word of text in the ad, but they had to start by marking it as “advertising”. Then they talk about the important ingredients like amino acids, b-group vitamins and isotonic benefits. Bottom left, a Dr of something or other talking one or two more benefits (note he is NOT wearing a lab coat – that looks medical and is frowned upon by the authorities): “For pregnant and breast-feeding women alcohol-free Weissbier can be recommended without reservation”.

Apart from the total overload (the ingredients mentioned above feature in four separate places on the ad – probably the agency ran out of things to say, or they thought drumming in the info several times looks authoritative and clever), I would have thought this is almost encouraging breast-feeding mothers to go back on the bottle.

Doubtless Erdinger will argue that it is encouraging them NOT to drink alcohol – here is an alternative. But it’s a very thin dividing line.

Alex Woodruff

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