Locker room talk. It's just not cricket.

By Sam Milne
Gillette’s recent campaign featuring a strong stance against toxic masculinity has obviously done a lot to refresh and elevate the brand’s name in what was fast becoming a commodity category.

While we’re not going to comment on the ad itself, at Fluid we weren’t surprised by Gillete’s move. Hardly the first brand to begin questioning the role of their gender centric identity in the face of a broader social landscape, Gillete’s campaign is just the most recent in a line of gender sensitive messaging refreshes by brands like Lynx/Axe, Always and Nike.

From deodorant to shoes, every brand is looking at their audience with fresh eyes, seeing new possibilities open up in front of them as our social landscape shifts and changes around them. Australians aren’t exempt from the changes either, the success of the AFLW and WBBL has demonstrated that our society is waking up to the idea that there’s nothing wrong with inviting all genders to enjoy the party.

The success of the WBBL was always going to raise questions for brands associated with cricket as a sport but the revelation by Nielsen that 46% of cricket’s audience is women meant the traditional view of cricket as a sport of gentleman, who all wear white, played over several days with breaks for tea and drank beer in the locker room after the match, looks at best old-fashioned and at worst a shining example of colonial patriarchy. It’s in this environment that Cricketers Arms, found itself caught between worlds.

Founded by a brewer who loved the celebration of a post-match beer with his Dad, and with a name that sounds like a local English pub, Cricketers Arms found itself in the modern Australian beer environment looking at odds with both the values of the sport it was built on and the movement of the competitive landscape around it. It was clear that it had a choice to be made, either adapt or find itself falling into irrelevance with new audiences put off by its old-world character.

Cricketers Arms Pale Ale

The new design effectively unshackled the brand from its patriarchal heritage, with consumers identifying the packaging as significantly more ‘modern’ and ‘relaxed’, while simultaneously increasing the perception that it’s a beer that they’d consider ‘good to be seen drinking’. Key to achieving these results were dropping elements such as the classical monogram, removing the superfluous ‘Arms’ from the core label and introducing elements that spoke to the world beyond the formalities of the cricket pitch – the waves of the beaches of Australia, the palm trees of the West Indies and the fields of the English countryside – places where cricket isn’t a bogged down in history but rather lived every day by the locals.

The new distinctive assets increased shelf standout and if used consistently throughout future ad campaigns were showing the potential to significantly raise purchase intent, dropping the negative associations with old-world heritage and running full-steam-ahead out of the locker room and into a more inclusive world.