February 15, 2018
Culture Jam Assignment
I will be examining the above advertisement for the popular beer company Dos Equis, which has become renowned for their iconic marketing campaigns. Often seen in various forms through radio, television and newspaper advertisements, Dos Equis slogan is persuasive marketing at its finest. The particular advertisement I am analyzing is a billboard has their trademark catchphrase “Stay Thirsty My Friends” situated along with a plain picture of their distinctive bottle in the middle. Although, this sign has a simple message there is a very complex meaning to it that intrigues all viewers. Interestingly, this particular billboard seems to be situated in the United States, as it also sponsored by famous American news outlet, CBS. The United States is a hub for mass consumption of alcohol particularly beer where it dominates most social events from family barbeques to college parties and sporting events.
The issue that I will be underlining is the idea of “staying thirsty” being linked to beer as the perfect drink to quench one’s thirst with. This misconception and misleading statement is representative of societal idea of consuming beer as a solution to any of life’s problems. This may be in happy moments or sad, consuming a beer will be the perfect answer to any situation. Furthermore, the use of the word “friend” is skilfully used by the marketers to compel a consumer to think that the beer company is an ally or someone of significance to them.
The societal problems that alcohol consumption can lead to are addiction and reliance which result in numerous harmful consequences. I will be highlighting the fact that although the use of alcohol has been viewed as a vice in society (most prominently in the Prohibition Era) for centuries, there continues to be a sense of normality to the dark side of it. Comparably, other substance abuse of party or prescription drugs are controlled strongly and considered more morally incorrect in social culture. This could further exemplify the political power alcohol companies such as Dos Equis hold in forms of pressure groups that were also seen with Tobacco companies. I chose this particular slogan because quite often this social issue can begin deceptively at the university age and is often neglected or brushed aside as the norm. Specifically, with alcohol consumption is directed towards males which can often question the ethical aspect of marketing.
Above, is the Culture Jam I created for the Dos Equis billboard that is questioning the slogan the company has used for years to lure in consumers. Considering the philosophy behind the “stay addicted” modification I created, it draws similarities to several other industries in society. Likewise, beer companies want their consumers addicted to their product to generate higher rates of revenue in competition with other similar brands. The use of the word thirst tries to symbolize beer as a “need” in a deceptive form in the slogan, where it is clearly a want or luxury. To quench one’s thirst, they can drink water or even juice, soda drinks or milk which all may be healthier alternatives. However, the company is trying to sway potential customers opinions by indicating that if you are thirsty, a Dos Esquis will be the perfect drink.
Another component to the addiction model was that this leads to a drinking culture, where doesn’t matter how much one may drink they should be continual thirsty. This points to the societal problem of overconsumption, in this case an extreme example with drinking. My jamming aspires to invoke the reality of alcoholism and its potential dangers to not only the consumers but those around them. This message of telling the public to stay thirsty and consume a beer is absolutely bizarre because the scientific reality in terms of health concerns and well-being point to the exact opposite. This is not only damaging to an individual but to society all together where overconsumption has often lead to various social problems. Just as the tobacco companies of decades pasts were criticized vigorously I think alcohol companies need to be regulated similarly because the social message is normalizing the issues surround consuming alcohol.
The secondary aspect to my culture jam was the use of the term friend in the slogan by Dos Esquis. The business, who by no means is the consumers friend wants to depict this image of close association with the consumer. Ironically, the company is actually the opposite of what a friend may be as they cost the person money and time. This wording of the slogan ensures the consumer is given a sense of belonging and does not feel as if they are being used in any sense. My modification of the slogan displays the reality of the business model that the company truly has and echoes the fact that society has moved from a citizen model to consumer. Like many other large businesses, Dos Equis is truly focused on ensuring they have maximum sales and do not have any genuine emotional connection with their customers.