Digital marketing

Birell Under Social Media Attack for Underestimating The Military Service Honor

Birell, a beer company which came to the Egyptian markets in 1986 providing non-alcoholic beer, which has been running “Be A Man” slogan for on-going advertisement campaigns since 2009. “Be A Man” advertising campaign which encourages men to drink a non-alcoholic beer to “be a man” has triggered waves within the Egyptian marketeers.

The intriguing advertising campaign faced allot of negative feedback for promoting extreme sexism and wrong demographics for hammering heavily on lad culture to capture interest.

Birell launched one of the most controversial ads in Ramadan 2016 that have been banned by Egyptian Consumer Protection Agency (CPA) as it shows a young man peeking at the private parts of another young man at a public bathroom in a way that violates the public morals of society.

Also Read ➤ The most controversial ads in Ramadan 2016 have been banned

Birrel strategy is to avoid marketing the non-alcoholic beer for women to obviate any chance for the brand to be viewed in the market as a woman’s drink!

“Be A Man” advertising campaign since 2009 used to express the essential value of Birrel campaign concept, Drink non-alcoholic beer TO BE A MAN!

Birell Boycott Campaign

While Army Values includes but not limited to Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Honor, Integrity, and Courage. Birell published a post on Social Media that show a military service document market as exempted while the photo caption entitled “It’s every one dream and undescribed happiness”. The post design also show the word “The Dream” on the lower right corner.

In an immediate negative response on social media, Egyptians started a campaign to Boycott Birell as a reaction for the shameful post which humiliated the honor of serving the country’s army.

The shameful post by Birell is considered as call to discourage the Egyptian youth who are ready to sacrifice their souls to protect the country.

As well as, it defies the main concept (core) of Birell’s  campaign, since the macho (manly) thing any male can ever do is serving his country, so the tagline of the post extremely contradicts with “being a man”.

While each Egyptian citizen (male) has to perform the military service upon reaching 18 years old, and he is not allowed to do it if he reached 30 years old, we do not think it’s such a good idea to involve military service exemption in marketing campaign.

Birell Boycott Campaign
Birell Boycott Campaign

It’s not a secret that the Egyptian military is involved in “war on terror” in Sinai and and just launched “Operation Martyr’s Right” as an ongoing military operation conducted by the Egyptian Armed Forces in cooperation with the Egyptian National Police officers, aimed at rooting out and killing jihadist militants.

While Egyptian people show officials responded harshly and confidently declaring that military efforts would continue in the region “until Sinai is clear of all terror.”

Social Media Reaction:

Most of tweets involved [‫#مقاطعة_بيريل‬] hashtag which appeared in Egypt’s top trends on 11:13 PM CLT with more than 10.1K Tweets while some posts on Facebook was about initiating a lawsuit regarding infringement of Egyptian Army values.

Lesson learned:

Do not involve your brand in political or religious debates.

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