EABL campaign “life moves on when you are gone”- Why it makes me uncomfortable.


I like the new EABL ads. They show a real reality that if you drink and drive you may end up crashed and dead. And that is true. People do need to become more careful about driving under the influence of alcohol. So big up to EABL for having a campaign to have responsible drinking and driving. There is only one problem. I will come to it. Look at these ads. Some are local and some are international.

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Have you seen the problem? You may have noticed that all these adverts are targeted at men. As if only men are the ones who drink and drive. I have a problem with that kind of thinking. It is stereotypical, reminds me of that Coca Cola World Cup 2014 ad where the only women watching football are watching because the men are stripping and the other one is blond. She doesn’t even know that the game has 2 halves. Clearly a global brand out of touch with its African female consumers. They would never dare to put up an ad like that in Europe. Njeri Wangari (Kenyanpoet) wrote a post about it The Coca-Cola World Cup video advert offends Female Football Fans.  Anyway that is not what I am ranting about.

There are statistics out there about the numbers of men and women drinking. Like this one drinkingLook at those statistics (I couldn’t get current statistics. Will update when I do.) which I am assuming EABL has. Alcohol abuse is higher in men but alcohol dependence in women is higher. And if you look at the traffic on any given day there are very many women driving. And they head to bars after work to relax and have a couple of drinks. And if you have noticed most of the drinks women have tend to have higher alcoholic content then what men drink. And some of those brands are supplied by EABL.

So you can say I am disappointed by this obvious oversight on EABL’s part and I think they have done women a great disservice. I think this is something they should rethink and they should re-strategize as they do their campaigns. And maybe also realize that many couples go out drinking together and get drunk out of their minds. And maybe they need to be told that if they are not there then their children will be orphans and they could be left homeless and destitute. That may strike a chord.

Because as Njoki Ngumi said

“My issue with this series of ads, which were clearly written from the subconscious spaces insecurity goes to slither at 3 AM, are legion. WHAT is the problem with people moving on after you die? Isn’t it unhealthy not to? Is the preferred alternative them building a home upon your grave and never knowing the joys of human companionship ever again? Seriously? And so you should live your life because you are afraid everyone who loves you will love on after you are gone? ?!!!

Then, the only people who drink and drive are men, in the series, as far as I have seen. If there is even one ad where it is the woman who has drunk and driven, please tell me. But extrapolated further, it means that EABL and whoever their advertising company is are happy, in 2014, to think only men drink, only men drive, and only men do both. That’s hella problematic.”

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Managing editor and blogger at Potentash. Passionate about telling African stories. Find me at [email protected]