Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Objectification in Floyd's Fandango Beer and Wine Festival marketing

Floyd is a great little hippie city near where I make my home. I attend Across-the-Way Production's FloydFest annually, and I was thinking about heading to their beer and wine festival Fandango until I saw the following image on a postcard around town:

[Image: A pink banner reading Floyd Fandango frames two women on each side and an abstraction of the Blue Ridge Mountains, a star, and July 3 & 4 2010, the dates for the festival. The woman on the left has long dark curly hair and wears a low-cut ruched top, showing a good deal of cleavage. She is smiling with her mouth open and holding a glass of wine. The woman on the right has braids and is wearing a low-cut blouse. She is smiling with her mouth closed and holding up a stein of beer.]

These cartoon figures of women are not just showing that women like beer and beer makes people happy. Their cleavage is prominently featured, equivicated with the alcohol that is the ostensible product of promotion.

This is yet another example of how women's bodies are objectified to promote alcohol. Women's bodies and breasts are the point of focus of Fandango as much as the wine and beer: breasts are as much a product for consumption at Fandango as the wine and beer.

It's not even particularly original: the lady on the left looks exactly like the St. Pauli Girl. The woman with the wine is also specifically problematic - I read her as a woman of color, which makes the objectification and dehumanization particularly problematic (I'm having trouble figuring out how (or if) it's specifically racist, so comments along these lines are particularly welcome).

Boobs are great, but this is basic: it's not cool to use women's bodies to promote and sexualize drink.

Further reading: Normalization of maleness and whiteness in beer packaging (one of my most popular posts)


  1. I read the women as representative of Italian (wine) and German/Swedish (beer), but it's certainly problematic -- hot ladies and alcohol, folks! -- not to mention stereotypical.

  2. That makes total sense, thanks Faye!


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