Mike’s Harder Lemonade & Deadpool Movie Advertising in Hot Water for Targeting Kids
Deadpool’s record breaking President’s Day weekend opening may have the folks at Marvel Comics marveling but, it has the people at Industry Watchdog Group – Alcohol Justice group fuming.
Mike’s Harder has partnered with 20th Century Fox and Disney-owned Marvel Studios to produce a limited edition collectible series of its alcopop in 16 oz., eight percent ABV cans plastered with the comic book mutant anti-hero Deadpool. Using a Marvel Comic superhero to sell alcohol is a bad idea according to Alcohol Justice.
Stay Informed: Sign up here for the Distillery Trail free email newsletter and be the first to get all the latest news, trends, job listings and events in your inbox.
As the story goes, the X-Men spinoff character has superhuman healing powers and is highly resistant to drugs and most toxins, making it extremely hard for him to become intoxicated.
“Comic book characters should never be used to sell alcoholic products,” stated Bruce Lee Livingston, Executive Director / CEO, Alcohol Justice. “Kids are inherently targeted, PR damage to the brands is substantial, and shareholders should scream for heads to roll.”
The promotion, seen in the TV ad below, on products, and in point-of-sale materials, pushes Mike’s Harder Lemonade, a super sweet, 8% alcoholic product that comes in flashy colorful “collectible” cans featuring the Deadpool character.
Livingston says, “A superhero’s mission is to champion good over evil and stand-up for those who can’t defend themselves. Superheroes appeal to many young boys and girls who dream of being one. It’s often reflected in how kids act and dress. But those dreams come crashing down fast when Big Alcohol capitalizes on the popular cartoon imagery of the latest superhero to sell alcohol.”
“Though the alcohol industry claims ‘Millennials’ are their target alcopop audience, their promotions and campaigns effectively target youth who are years younger than the minimum legal drinking age,” said Livingston. “As a result of the low prices, wide availability, and marketing tactics like this one by 21st Century Fox & Mike’s Harder Lemonade, alcopops are very popular among underage youth and responsible for a disproportionate share of underage alcohol-related harm.”
Alcohol Justice is asking people to TAKE ACTION by telling the CEOs at 21st Century Fox and Mike’s Hard Lemonade to stop using children’s superheroes to sell booze.