Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Does that Baby Have a Beer?

There's a billboard in Deep River, Connecticut that shows a baby sucking on a beer bottle. The headline across the top reads: "You wouldn't do this then (give the baby a beer) ......Why Now? (showing teen agers drinking)

The point the billboard designers were trying to make is that parents watch their infants, and they should watch their teens to make sure that they too, don't drink. The billboard has generated a lot of discussion with citizens, causing many to challenge parents who feel it's ok to drink in front of their kids. It comes as police across Connecticut crack down on teenagers who are drinking and driving.

As someone who sells outdoor advertising , I too, was initially shocked at the image of a cute baby with a beer bottle pursed at its lips (you can check out the photo of the billboard at ) and my initial thought was that the billboard went too far. However, it did make me read the message, and it did make the point that while many parents would never give beer to a baby, they do encourage teen drinking by either imbibing in front of their kids or giving the alcohol to them directly.

A properly designed billboard is meant to invoke deep feelings about the subject that is being advertised, and this campaign has done just that. It does shock the reader because it's message is outrageous, but in doing so, it also makes them think about a problem that has gotten out of hand.

Perhaps we need more of this type of advertising, so adults will be forced to look at how their behavior affects the impressionable children around them. Subtlety hasn't worked, and bombarding people with the statistics showing the impact of their behavior on kids obviously hasn't either. I've been saddened, when I've seen parents who not only drink in front of their kids but who actually have their toddler be the "beer runner" for them between the 'fridge and the couch. THAT'S JUST WRONG! (yet it happens all the time)

Two thumbs up from The Christian Commentator to the advertisers and designers who came up with this concept. It will shock you, but it reminds one of the old saying: "the little children will lead them." Hopefully, the beer drinking baby on this billboard will help a few parents wake up, and will lead them to the truth about how wrong it is to encourage alcohol consumption in minors.

Check out the photo and let me know what you think.

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