SWITCHBACK: Is “Earn Your Beer” an appropriate tagline for Adventure Sports Journal, California’s leading outdoor sports magazine?
Maybe for an individual article, but in today’s era of “inclusivity”, and with your publication reaching all types for all activities, you will most certainly encounter an offended reader. Although nothing less can activate the remaining fast-twitch fibers of my burning quads in the quest to sprint to the truck containing a bucket of beer, youth, non-drinkers, and others may potentially see this in a dimmer light. Personally, I seek the positive…”more beer for me!”
It may be appropriate for many of your readers but it has no cache, eh? And some of us could care less about beer. Earning your turns, from whence the tagline is derived, is about the satisfaction that comes from pursuing and accomplishing an adventure. This the Adventure Sports Journal. You need something that ties in with the Adventure word…like Well Done Adventure, or Adventure Done Well – earned, burned, simmered and turned.
My husband and I enjoy your mag and pick it up whenever we spot it. On the topic raised: I don’t think it is an appropriate tagline, even tho’ I “get” it and even think it’s pretty amusing. Why? Because for many people alcohol is a big problem either for themselves or within their families and in many cases causes heartache and even despair. I think a magazine title tagline such as yours would be better “alcohol free”. It’s not necessary and a substitute that’s acceptable for everybody could be created.
Don’t drink beer! How about “earn your bevvy”. The beeros can drink beer, the winos wine, water is good (but boring).
‘Earn Your Beer’ definitely pigeonholes your publication. As long as you want to appeal to people who wear river sandals with built in bottle openers or the actors from Lance Armstrong’s Michelob Ultra commercials then you’re fine. But if you want to use your cover to attract a wider audience, and get them to read some of the great articles inside, you may want to select something more broadly appealing. Your writing and features target everyone from the casual hiker to the competitive multi-sport athlete. Your tagline should be equally universal.
When I first saw it, I liked it, I chuckled. But now that you push me to actually think about it, it probably isn’t a good magazine tagline for all the reasons raised by the other commenters.
How about something more action oriented to encourge readers to get out there?
- Get Out There
- Get After It
- Just Do It (oh wait… think that has been used by someone else?)
- No Excuses
- Carpe Diem
- Adventures are Waiting
- What Did You Do Today?
“earn your beer” conjures up an image of a sloshed, beer belly boozer stumbling along – Not what I envisage from a journal where “adventure sports” is the catchy title! That name is more consistent with a vision of a fit, healthy and determined seeker of those inspiring vistas beyond the horizon and beyond those snowy peaks. Perhaps a clearer image would be presented to the mind’s eye by, “Earn your inspiration!”
It is a lazy, unprofessional, cheesy, nonsensical tag-line. As other readers have suggested it is easier to come up with more suitable lines. Binge drinking is a big problem on college campuses (refer This American Life podcast). No one is going to become an alcoholic because of this line, but you are still promoting and being part of an alcohol-friendly culture that negatively affects teens. In fact some people turn to sports and adventure to get over their alcohol addiction.
People are so P.C. I think its awesome. I bought the shirt at Sea Otter two days ago. One of the main reasons I mountain bike is because I love good beer. Nothings better than the post ride beer with your riding buddies
Beer is good. No randal, no problem.
The “Earn your beer” tagline cheapens the contents your publication in my opinion. It says your basic motivation is to aspire to a frat boy life-style. Beer, girls, two-way mirrors, fart jokes and homo-erotic behavior. We deserve better and are smarter than that – flush the lame tag line.
I have to agree with the comments here and the letter posted from a reader in the latest magazine regarding this topic. I also appreciate the thorough response letter from the editor. I’ve been reading your magazine for about a year now and truly enjoy it. Funny how I’ve always felt a little irked when I would see that “Earn your beer” slogan. I’ve been a runner for over eight years, a sporadic skier and a casual bike rider looking to get into more adventurous territory. Never been much of a drinker but will enjoy a pint of hefen wiezen or a glass of pinot grigio or a cosmopolitan on occasion. It’s never something I think of having at the end of training…my reward is enjoying the beautiful outdoors, that adrenaline rush, accomplishing my goals and getting fit. Having enjoyed skiing this past season helped me understand that many people indeed celebrate by socializing and drinking after a long day at the slopes. However, alcohol is great for those that can control the intake. Some can’t and I personally know people who love the sports your magazine writes about but are dealing with substance abuse issues or are recovering alcoholics. I really don’t think this is an issue of being “PC” but as someone else mentioned, being all inclusive and leaving the unnecessary out. Also, I feel it lends a cheap quality. I’m positive you guys can come up with better. I’ve already seen a few here…
I was astonished when the tagline changed to “Earn Your Beer,” on a regional publication that I love to read and occasionally have my articles published in. I felt like it was extremely unprofessional – not even a college newspaper would stoop to that level of pandering to advertisers. It also appears to be an arrogant presumption that beer serves as a reward for outdoors activities, which while true for some people, also excludes many of us! I think Nathan summed it up best in the comments section here: “It is a lazy, unprofessional, cheesy, nonsensical tag-line.”
I would only add to that: change your tagline and you will Earn My Respect.
As your magazine does such a great job of conveying, being active in the outdoors is about so much more than “earning your beer”. I think the tagline should be changed to one that represents the deeper motivations and rewards that come with outdoor adventure, physical and psychological challenge and contact with nature. Thanks for asking!
Firstly- Hats off to Pete Gauvin and the whole ASJ crew!! Thanks for the ASJ!
Earn Your Beer is a simple, light hearted and humorous tagline that gives the ASJ character and personality. I’m stoked that the ASJ is not afraid to put some of it’s own personal style and culture into the publication that takes so much time, hard work and dedication. Not everything needs to be homogenized so as to cater to everyone and everything at all times. I’m honored and inspired that the ASJ is willing to have and share it’s own character and vibe.
EYB is lighthearted humor. Nothing more and it shouldn’t be read into beyond that.
The magazine is only here through enormous efforts and the folks who put in all that work deserve to put their own little spin on things. It’s not like we’re trying to form a new Democratic Nation here… So lighten up a bit y’all. Not really a big deal Let the folks at the magazine express themselves with a bit of humor and a personal touch.
Geez, only in California could “earn your beer” be deemed offensive and get people so worked up. It’s little light-hearted humor, people. There are better things to get agitated about.
I enjoy the motivation and humor of the tagline but it seems a bit random and out of context. It does motivate me to go outside in a very weird way though.
A better question to ask is: Who is your audience? And is this the audience your advertisers want to reach?
Based upon the design, copy and images appearing in the 60+ ads in your June/July issue, your advertisers seem to be appealing to a wider range of adventure-oriented adults rather than a narrower niche of 20-something beer fans.
I think your title says it all but if you really want to have a tagline, then it should focus on the overall benefits of the publication. I use it as a resource for information and upcoming events.
Keep up the good work!
While I have no problem with the “earn your beer” slogan. Perhaps “earn your brew” might be less offensive to the naysayers. After all you brew coffee, tea, and numerous other beverages including beer and ale. After a tough ride, kayaking, hike, etc, each person can gravitate to their “brew” of choice.
If ‘you want to change the tag line my best saying is”Offness is it’s own reword” As you can see no matter what you are doing it’s own reword just happens because it’s fun.A beer after makes it even better.
“Earn your Sweat” When you first used the line, I wrote in immediately and was impressed that you published my letter about its inapprolpriateness. I won’t repeat what i said then, except for the parts about young people being influenced by a magazine that inspoires them along with the adults they are out with, and especially the sad fact that many athletes have been killed or injured due to alcohol involved accidents
How about “Earn Your Sweat”?
As a former contributor to ASJ (Leave Your Pajamas at Home – March, 2010), a long time reader, and a life long adventure sports enthusiast, I was disappointed by the tagline “earn your beer” long before I decided to weigh in on it.
Apparently the recent survey shows that 1/3 of the reader body disapproves of the tagline. From a circulation perspective, given that the remaining 2/3 of the population probably wouldn’t care if there was a tagline or not, I find it hard to figure why there is a debate about it at all. As a small-business owner, if I found that something I was doing was alienating 1/3 of my client base in someway, and the other 2/3 would remain happy either way, I would change that thing I were doing immediately!
Now, I am a beer drinker…an enthusiast even. Yes, a beer after a ride is great, but so is…food, or water, or a shower. But there is so much emphasis on beer in adventure sports that it seems almost ludicrous. After seeing so many people handing out Pabst cans at cyclocross races, wearing beer sponsored kits, welding bottle openers onto their custom frames and now Oskar Blues Brewing Co. opening a frame building company called Reeb–beer spelled backwards–I can’t help think, “Ok! We get it, you like beer!” It’s enough to make me avoid a beer after a ride.
One other reason this tagline seems a strange choice for a publication seeking a broad population is that not everyone drinks. This tagline could be as off-putting as “earn your burger” would be to a vegetarian.
The main reason the tagline bothers me: Kids. What about kids reading the journal and trying to feed their enthusiasm for surfing, riding, kayaking and climbing, but basically being told right at the onset, “Adventure Sports = Drinking”. Not such a wise choice. If anyone thinks kids aren’t reading this journal, think again.
So, with all that, I still don’t see why there is a debate over this issue. If the tagline is raising so much noise, get rid of it! Why does ASJ need a tagline anyway? Adventure Sports Journal pretty much sums it up. Taglines, as many people have mentioned, run the risk of cheapening the publication.
But in the spirit of good times, if there is to be a tagline for ASJ, why not from here on out run a different tagline every issue that rhymes with “earn your beer” like “burn your rear” or “turn your gear”. Have some fun with it. That way a few years down the road we can all laugh about it over a beer.
NO on “beer”
“Earn your calories” would be an easy switch.
“Burn your calories”
Please don’t let the sans joy and soul PC Police dictate a change to the tagline; a bit of free spirited irreverence and humor go a long way in an increasingly buttoned down and wound up world. Great magazine!
I was surprised and disappointed to see the tagline. It certainly doesn’t express what adventure sports mean to me, or why I participate in them. I’ve enjoyed a lot of the articles in the magazine, which DO capture the spirit of adventure; the motivation, struggles, and perseverence; the joy and beauty of nature; the camaraderie; and the sense of accomplishment when a dream or a goal is achieved. The tagline makes it sound like getting to the beer is the real goal, and it just really put me off; hopefully you will reconsider.
“Earn Your Beer” says it all. Give in to the PC crowd and they will eventually want to run your magazine. Earn my respect and stand your ground.
Let us all strive for our own goals. “Earn it!”
Change your tag line, I change my mag, and I don’t drink any more.
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