Monday, 9 June 2008

Image Problem

Real ale has an image problem.

A mantra of CAMRA is "we want real ale to appeal more to young people and women", or words to that effect.

Ask younger people and women their perceptions of real ale and what do we hear?

"It's for old men"
"It's warm and heavy"
"It's flat"
"It's got bits in"
"it's very strong"
"It's old-fashioned"

We could go on.

None of these perceptions is terribly accurate. These comments represent the popular image of real ale. (B.T.W. Contrary to another view common among camra types, non-real ale drinkers are aware of the existence of real ale)

When the subject of image comes up in the presence of camra sheep there is generally a loud chorus of "IT'S WHAT'S IN THE GLASS THAT MATTERS".

At this point camra sheep will bleat about people who are more concerned with image then they as being "shallow", "easily led" and "victims of advertising".

This is a head-in-the-sand attitude and does no favours whatsoever to the real ale cause. The immutable truth is that image is of huge importance.

Quit the patronising and ask yourself how you can contribute to improving the image (i.e. marketability) of real ale!

[CAMRA research published 2002:

* Over one fifth (22%) of women don't drink real cask ale because it isn't promoted to them
* 17% of women think it is "old fashioned"
* 29% don't try it because their friends don't drink it
* 17% think it will make them fat!
* Only 23% of women have tried real ale in a pub
* 19% of women would try real cask ale if it were served in more stylish and fashionable glasses]


Stonch said...

Excellent stuff, Jeff. Proof that all the best people are called JEFF.

Jeff Pickthall said...

My thoughts exactly