Ad sends the wrong message |

Ad sends the wrong message

I am what some might call a “sensitive, New-Age man.” They might say I’m a public-radio-listening tree hugger who gets emotional over tea with my local knitting group.

I am not a knitter. However, I do enjoy a mug of tea before crawling into my flannel footie pajamas. I’ve always been a sensitive guy, but I’ve grown out of apologizing for it.

Like all sensitive guys, I listen to public radio during my responsibly sensible, fuel-efficient commute. But last week, I inadvertently flipped the dial to one of those hardcore real-man stations and abruptly caught a beer advertisement that made me cringe with all kinds of New-Age emotion.

The ad starts with several men congratulating each other on their courage to come together to vent about their various manly grievances. Through my work with teens and their parents, I instantly wondered to myself, “A beer commercial that promotes guys getting together to express themselves with other men?” And then, in the midst of my amazement, the first man exclaims, “I’ll go first,” followed by the unmistakable sound of a beer can cracking open.

“Oh, I feel so much better,” the man exclaims with a chorus of supportive real men all urging him on.

“I’m next,” another man cries out.

Again ” the unmistakable crack of what could only be a can of ice-cold beer.

“How refreshing,” the man blurts out. “Who wants to vent next? We should do this more often. It’s so nice to get together and vent!”

The ad promotes Coors’ new “vented” cans that feature an airflow vent to allow for greater ease in rapid consumption ” perfect. This sends just the right message to teenagers struggling to find the words to express themselves when they are frustrated and need to “vent.” Have a drink ” now you can guzzle as fast as you want, and not waste any time cracking into your next therapeutically refreshing beverage.

Should we be insulted by the notion that men getting together to discuss their frustrations simply require a few cold ones? And without so much as a word, they discover instantaneous relief as the grumbles roll away like the chilled condensation down the side of a vented beer can.

I will simply ask how you feel about the concept that cracking into a beer assists people to work through their aggravations. I would encourage you to discuss this advertisement with your family, and explore its implications on teenagers and adults who struggle to find healthy, productive ways of working through life’s frustrations.

As a sensitive New-Age man, I struggle with the idea that a billion-dollar beer company can’t find a more responsible way to promote its product. While the beer industry works on its marketing, I’ll just sip my tea and stick to what I know: public radio and footie pajamas.

Visit YouthZone online at, or call us for a 50-minute parent consult ” a quick and easy way to get tough parenting questions resolved for good.

Evan Zislis is YouthZone upvalley division manager.

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