Like many products, Pinnacle Vodka is marketed through duplicitous gendered advertisement. Because modern advertising is capable of targeting increasingly specific demographic “groups,” Pinnacle is able to diversify and focus ads on two demographics that are perceived as distinct. But because Pinnacle is an alcohol company, the manner in which it is marketed to distinct gendered groups is complicated by various specificities like age group and sexuality.
The company hosts and sponsors several events for specifically gendered institutions like Cosmopolitan and Playboy. In early 2011, for example, Pinnacle was responsible for sponsoring a Playboy Super Bowl party in Dallas, where attendees’ drinks were served by “gorgeous Playboy Playmates and Playboy models” (WMCTV).
A more recent event sponsored by the company was the Cosmopolitan Magazine’s 2011 Fun Fearless Male Awards. From Cosmopolitan’s own website, the “hottest male celebs” were in attendance to accept awards for being especially “fearless” or “fun,” although one is hard-pressed to find what exactly is meant by either phrase. Coverage of the event, also on Cosmopolitan’s website, was focused around the sexualization of the male stars in attendance and was targeted towards young heterosexual women.
Another collaboration between Cosmopolitan Magazine and Pinnacle Vodka is a “Shirtless Bartender” feature on their website where, as the name suggests, shirtless male bartenders make drinks exclusively with Pinnacle Vodka.
Through carefully chosen media affiliations and peripheral marketing strategies, the Pinnacle brand is promoted in gendered and usually sexualized frameworks. Their advertisement campaigns, which run in magazines like Cosmopolitan, US Weekly, Sports Illustrated and Playboy, highlight the dual gendered markets that the company seeks to reach.