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The Creaming of Manchester

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The Cream of Manchester (sic) Boddington's thumbnail  Boddington's thumbnail ad  Boddington's thumbnail  Boddington's thumbnail  Boddington's thumbnail  Boddington's thumbnail  Magazine extract commenting upon Boddington's beer


The Creaming off Manchester

Illustration of the 'Cream of Manchester'Jim Aitchison, in his book Cutting Edge Advertising, notes that the Boddington's Cream of Manchester campaign was designed to work as posters on magazine back covers. Within the general conception of the campaign every ad was designed to contain a new Cover of the book Cutting Edge Advertisinginterpretation of creaminess.

Boddington's Beer sells well to young male drinkers who wouldn't know the difference between a keg and a cask - nor when they are being taken for a ride.

The ads for this keg beer seem to have gone down a treat - but how many of those who view the Boddington's ads (both on TV and in the printed media) realize they are being taken for a ride. The ad men are laughing up their sleeves at the gullibility of Boddington's fans. There is more to these ads than meets the eye. The ad men are giving themselves a pat on the back for producing a series of ads that do more than poke fun at the lack of sophistication of Manchester's beer drinkers.

The everyday impression of the fun side of the Cream of Manchester ads is reflected in Extract from book of prize winning ads showing the Cream in Venicethe lack of sophistication that would be needed to think that Boddington's were so creamy that one could mistake it for an Italian ice cream, as in the ad illustrated on the right.

In fact, many of the ads rely upon a set of subtle (and sometimes non-too subtle) innuendoes and the visual representation of colloquial slang or vernacular terms. Put crudely, the ad men reckon Boddington's male beer drinkers are a load of effeminate wankers who couldn't 'pull' a woman if they tried. You don't believe me? Read on before you make up your mind. Keep in mind the fact that the ads can allude to 'creaming' rather than cream, as Magzine comments on what is most embarrassingthe illustration on the left indicates, though first impressions might indicate that the article this was drawn from simply refers to peeing in ones pants.

This illustration, and the opening illustration at the head of this section, were taken from a typical 'lads' magazine. A dictionary definition of 'cream/creaming', the act apparently alluded to in the article, is given below. Keep this in mind when viewing any current or future Boddington's ads and TV commercials.

cream, cream one’s jeans vb. to have an orgasm, or to become sexually excited (while dressed). The vulgarism can be used of either sex (and now, by extension, can even sometimes mean to become overexcited or over enthusiastic without the sexual connotation). Cream has been a euphemism for semen or sexual lubricant for at least a century. Cream one’s jeans dates from the late 1960s.

The Cream of Manchester ads not only play visually upon the various meanings of cream/creaming and sexual activity, they also focus upon male insecurity to a marked degree. In the TV commercials, for example, one can note that the ads tend to contain visual elements that relate to and perhaps are even intended to raise worries about the male organ, lack of sexual prowess and perhaps even castration. Consider the limp fish, the reversed underpants, the 'pussy' dropping on the face of one individual. Whether these ads and commercials are based on psychodynamic theories or simply knowledge of the burgeoning sexuality and insecurity of adolescent and young adult males, market research would seem to indicate that Manchester's Boddington beer drinkers are worried about their willies. But that is to be expected. Under the influence of chemically castrated keg beer they are unable to put their organs to any natural use, other than to empty their bladder.

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Brill Cream

Boddington's rhaircream adThis is a typical Cream of Manchester ad. Superficially it seems to be nothing more than a glass of beer with the head curled into the shape of a hairdo. But look a little bit closer - the combed 'hair' could also be indicative of a hand with the index finger upraised. And what would you be reminded of then? Yep, that's it! Boddington's and their ad agency are giving the finger to their naive audience. Up Yours, Mate!

The head on the beer also appears to be dribbling down the side of the glass. But it also could be a reminder of the limp dick that one gets from overindulging and suffering from Brewer's droop. It could even be mistaken for a used contraceptive. However, such meaning would tend to go against the grain of most of the messages inherent in Boddington's ads. These tend to emphasize castration rather than ejaculation.

Boddington's razor adThis next ad is in the same vein as the previous ad. Foaming at the brim until it pours down the side of the glass - only to be sliced in half with a cut-throat razor. Note that it isn't a neat, level, cut. The razor has left a remarkable shape that will again function as a reminder of what happens to ones tackle when one is 'half-cut'. It would only be fit to pass water - or the remains of what passes for beer after your Boddy has been metabolized. Is this a witty ad? Or is it taking the mickey? You decide.

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Whipped Cream and Chop Sticks

Boddington's whipped cream adAnother ad from the Cream of Manchester stable. So what, you might be asking. What has a whip got to do with sexuality or worries about sexuality? The answer is simple if one thinks of the colloquial terms associated with masturbation. These witty lads producing these ads have simply produced a visual version of the phrase 'whipping one's dick'. As if any sensible Mancunian would consider that drinking a pint of Boddington's was the equivalent of a self pleasuring session. An alternative meaning also associated with contemporary slang that still doesn't offer any boost to the Mancunian ego relates to Whipping, a shorter and more acceptable term than the original Pussy-Whipping.

whipped adj. American a shortened, hence disguised and more acceptable version of pussy-whipped

pussy-whipped adj. 'hen-pecked'. An American vulgarism probably inspired by the western cliché 'pistol whipped'. Pussy is a long-established term for the female genitals or women in general.

Still not convinced. How about the ad on the right then. Have you ever heard the phraseBoddington's cream beater ad 'Beat one's stick' or 'Beat one's rhythm stick'. Different visual, age old message. The outcome is 'whipped cream'.

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Boddington's Ice cream adIt seems a shame to keep on beating the ad men with the same old tools (pun intended). Here is another one where you only need to consider the colloquial connotations of dipping one's stick to realize that the whole underlying theme of Boddington's ads is taking the mickey out of their customers. Or perhaps they simply mean that their customers are dippy (simple minded). Some of them may be sophisticated enough to realize the double meanings associated with the ads. Very few of them will realize that, in conjunction with some of the TV commercials, these ads also carried a secondary, covert, meaning about sexual inadequacy or worries. C'est la vie!

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Strong Stuff

Boddington's tough women adOne final comment is in order. It was contended above that many Boddington's drinkers are sexually insecure. The ad on the left would seem to indicate the opposite as it depicts an attractive young woman standing in a rather provocative, if aggressive, pose. She is seemingly the focal point of the ad. Yet, consider it more carefully, taking into account the text 'Quit starin' at my beer' and the pose of the woman. She is standing legs apart. There is another woman visible between her legs. And the text of all the message is large (Quit Starin' At My) except for the word beer. So what could they be starin' at? I'll leave you to work that out.

The text would seem to indicate that what is of interest to the viewer is the beer and that the woman is irrelevant. She isn't, she is there to attract attention. But the crux of the matter is that she doesn't want the poor Mancunian (or any other) male to pay her attention. If she did, she would most likely dominate the poor Boddington's drinker who had the temerity to confront her. He is seemingly going to need his beer to cry into - as it's all he is likely to get.


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Last Revised: 3rd January, 2003


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