Field Theory by Hadyn Green


Man Moments

Are you a man who wants moments of manhood?

The 132 page blurb channels a mix of the Mad Men TV series and up-market mens' magazine FHM, featuring black and white shots of Moa's all-male board and management striking macho poses in sharply cut suits, while attractive women in black skirts, white blouses and ties fondle cigars and bottles of Moa.

"It is somewhat Mad Men," he said, appealing to "men who want moments of manhood*."

You can barely tell it's written in shit.

I don't mean the financial stuff. As someone who can barely balance his bank account, I am the last person to criticise a company about shares and stocks and what-have-you. Instead I mean the disgusting way that Moa conflates manhood with the ownership of women. See the image above to get a vague idea of what I mean.

The prospectus starts: "Your guide to owning a brewery and other tips for modern manhood". Modern manhood ironically means some sort of Mad Men fantasy from the 1960s. The tips in the prospectus are along the lines of 1000 rules for my unborn son, but much crasser and surrounded by men who are posing with what they believe is "swagger".

From the marketing section:

Moa needs to offer both rational and emotional reasons to make Moa the super-premium beer of choice… The personality of the brand offers the emotional reasons. For Moa this should be a sharp wit, without political correctness and an eye for those activities and styles that make up the lives of our aspiring drinkers – those in the super-premium end of modern manhood.

And just if you didn't understand what they meant by "without political correctness" they follow up by explaining that their marketing team is "experienced in getting attention in the marketplace with minimum spend and have utilised online media very effectively". Yes, they will say controversial stuff and you silly people will get riled up. For a prospectus built on an idea of modern men, and a Mad Men theme, it does seem to enjoy pushing the idea that creativity is nothing when you can just piss people off.

As a side note: Tip number six tell you to "Close your social media accounts. Open books are easy to read and unlocked homes are easy to steal from".

In what seems like an odd step, halfway through, directly before the human ashtray photo, the marketing gurus have included an advertisement for a $197,000 Aston Martin. The ad is the intro to the section on the directors.

CEO Geoff Ross is pictured holding a magazine. On the front is Peter Sellers, on the back a woman pushing a pram. Geoff has a slight smile on his face like he overheard you tell a dirty joke and wanted to tell you one of his own. Scanning his profile you discover that he is a man's man who killed animals as a child. He is also a terrible Christmas gift giver: "Ecoya for the ladies, Moa for the gents".

Josh Scott is the founder. He learned about brewing and winemaking so that he could sell alcohol to his classmates to improve their dating skills. It's hard not to appreciate the casual way his biography implies not only his early criminal activity but also the way that drinking makes you better at scoring. I'm not going to infer that they mean you should get your intended partner drunk.

The photos aren't bad. The guys look good in suits. But the overwhelming air of arrogance and simple misogyny is hard to shake. I understand the market that the prospectus is aimed at. They want to capture the type of person who drives Aston Martins and wears bespoke suits. I suppose that can't be a woman though. Because women don't have money right?

It's a slightly different way of looking at an IPO than, say, the Boston Beer Company (aka Samuel Adams).

“It’s good for a company if its shares are in the hands of the people who really believe in it — and for us that means the people who really love Sam Adams beer…

“I wanted to take care of my Sam Adams drinkers. They were the people who were really important to me and who were going to continue to be.”

So [Jim Koch, founder of the Boston Beer Company] improvised, hanging fliers on six-packs of beer that very carefully informed customers that they might be able to buy $500 worth of shares in an eventual public offering. “We were limited to what you could manage to say on a six-pack, and also by what the lawyers would let us say,” he recalls.

Moa are pushing for the super-premium market. They want to push Heineken and Steinlager off the top of the pile. So they want to bring over those drinkers. This is why they are pushing for the douchebag market. They are the people who, as I mentioned, drive Aston Martins because, oh, you drive a BMW, I'm sure that's a good car too, hey wanna hear a dirty joke, it's a little un-PC though. As a craft beer drinker I would never want to be this guy.

For all of the sales information that fills the latter half of the prospectus, none deals with the possible ramifications of pissing off female drinkers. There is nothing in here that makes women think that Moa wants them to drink their beer. If I was a woman reading this I would assume that Moa can do without my money.

The weird thing is Moa beer is still good, taste-wise. It confuses me why they would bother doing this. Why piss off a pretty liberal group of drinkers? Perhaps Moa should have read Tip number 8, included seemingly without irony: "The best advice comes from people who you are not paying to give you advice".


*Moments of Manhood is now an excellent twitter meme.

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