In Fold7’s latest spot for Carlsberg, a group of men unite to bring beer into an oppressive health spa they’ve apparently been forced to visit with their girlfriends. “The Crate Escape” is a play on 1963 movie The Great Escape, featuring similar scenes and the same Elmer Bernstein soundtrack.
Ryan Newey, founding partner of Fold7, explains: “For a global ad, you need an internationally [recognized] scenario that translates across all markets. The difference between the way guys and their girlfriends like to spend their time is universal. It plays perfectly to Carlsberg’s characteristic humor and the proposition of the beer as a reward for achievement and stepping up and doing something when it needs to be done.”
Beer as a well-deserved reward, fine. But playing to gender stereotypes? Ugh. This theme is tired and potentially alienates a large group of Carlsberg fans. After all, if men are accompanying their girlfriends to a spa, women are also watching the Euro Cup in pubs, drinking beer. Branding women as one-dimensional control freaks and men as helpless followers-cum-surreptitious rebels reinforces boring, outdated roles. I don’t expect every “humorous” 90-second spot to be an example of perfect gender equality, but this ad could benefit from broadening its view. For example, if the girlfriends walked in at the end of “The Crate Escape” to partake in Carlsberg’s refreshing taste, this spot would be more satisfying.
Credits after the jump.