Ranaka gives beer brand a taste of women

Dineo Ranaka
Dineo Ranaka
Image: James Oatway

Women will no longer just be standing on the sidelines and looking pretty in beer adverts.

That’s if one brand‚ Castle Lite‚ has anything to do with it.

A recent Twitter post by radio and television personality Dineo Ranaka led the beer brand to rethink the way women are portrayed in its adverts.

Ranaka tweeted: “After such a long day making magic‚ a cold beer is all that’s needed to unwind. #HoldMyBeer” – accompanied by an image of her Castle Lite.

The tweet sparked a roaring debate on Twitter.

One male Twitter user wrote: “Women drinking beer? Yuck.”

Another said: “I’m not sure about women who drink beer. . .”

Others were of the opinion that female beer drinkers were a “turn-off” and unattractive.

But women were hearing nothing of it. Many praised Ranaka for her boldness.

“Yes girl. Join the club,” one beer lover tweeted.

“You go girl . . . your Beer‚ your Life . . . You don’t need people to tell how to run it.”

When the beer brand got wind of the trending topic‚ it posted a video on social media sites‚ saying that it had for far too long only portrayed men as drinking beer and women as objects.

“The #HoldMyBeer movement pushed us to take a long hard look at the role our advertising plays in shaping cultural norms. From here on out we promise to be better‚ to stop the exclusion and objectification, and unlock more inclusion because women should do anything‚ be anything‚ drink anything‚” it stated.

Andrea Quaye‚ marketing vice-president for AB InBev Africa‚ of which the brand is a part‚ told TimesLIVE: “Castle Lite is a progressive brand. We have been working a lot for gender equality inclusivity.”

She said the company was using other brands within its stable to tackle social ills like violence against women.

She said the Castle Lite team – comprising only women – recognised that females “are not accessories to men”.

“Then what happened on social media spurred us to respond and just say this is our point of view. We have apologised and we will be better moving forward.”

Tina Thiart‚ of women’s rights group WomensNet‚ welcomed Castle Lite’s stance.

“We would add that many advertisers can do more to combat violence against women and to speak out against men who amplify violence by making light of women abuse‚ rape and domestic violence.

“Not only should they unlock inclusion‚ we should enter into the debate about violence and rape culture. It is not just about a marketing drive . . .
“We need to be serious about the issues and partner with the right organisations to shape cultural norms.

“Castle Lite should put their money where their mouth is and make sure that they partner and supports women’s initiatives.” – TimesLIVE