download AB Inbev brand Bud Light has struck a partnership with Snapchat, the photo and video sharing app with more than 200 million users, of which over 70% is below the age of 25. The social media application has been making advertising deals with many big companies over recent years. However, Bud Light is the first alcohol brand on the platform to send users video ads in additional to dedicating a space in the app where users can share photos and videos from Bud Light’s ‘Whater, USA’ event. Snapchat asks users for  their age when signing up for an account. When users give an age of 13 years or younger, they get limited functionality being able only to take and edit pictures, instead of also sharing and receiving pictures or videos. The Snapchat ads are age-gated so that only consumers who are 21 years or older will see them. While it’s positive that there is something done to bar minors from the full functionalities of Snapchat as well as in-app alcohol ads, the figure  of 70% of the users being below the age of 25 is probably a significant underestimation. Previous research has shown that 49% of 9-12 year olds fake the age on their profiles; as well as 14% of 13-16 year olds. Beyond asking users their date of birth, Snapchat and Bud Light do nothing to validate to verify the age of their users, consequently this new partnership might still lead to significant numbers of minors being exposed to interactive alcohol advertising. Source: 29/05/15
stella artois instagramAB Inbev beer Stella Artois is the first beer company to advertise on photo based social network site Instagram. The ‘Give Beautifully' campaign is aimed to bolster sales this holiday season and will run exclusively on US Instagram profiles. An insightful article on The Drum describes how after such brands as Bacardi and Corona Stella Artois is the first beer brand to advertise their wares through Instagram. The article states that this new campaign is significant because alcohol producers already have a good handle on Facebook and Twitter, while the “creative and visual demands of the photo-based platform” form a new challenge. “It represents the latest hurdle brewers are trying to overcome in the race to build more aggressive marketing strategies capable of getting people to pay more attention to beer.” Specifically the goal of the campaign is understood to be refreshing the Stella Artois brand for younger drinkers. The ads, which depict the beer alongside food in festive settings, are targeted to the appropriately aged users using data. According to The Drum, promoting beer and food pairings has fuelled the success of craft beers in the US. AB InBev is hoping it can adapt the tactic to stoke growth this holiday season. Lucas Herscovici, vice president of consumer connections at AB InBev, is quoted by The Drum: “Reaching and engaging legal drinking age millennial consumers is critical for all of our brands. As a leading social platform for 21+ consumers, Instagram is a very important channel for us. We are excited to work with Instagram as they seek to integrate advertising into the consumer experience, which is as high quality and beautiful as the images users would normally see in their feeds.” Source: The Drum 12/02/14

The raise of alcoholic energy drinks in Europe Alcohol is a sedative, while ingredients of energy drinks such as caffeine, guarana and taurine have a stimulant effect. The effects of alcohol are masked which may lead to excessive alcohol consumption (O’Brien, 2008). Research conducted in the United States revealed that adolescents who regularly drink alcohol mixed with energy drinks more often binge drink (more than 5 drinks in a short period of time) and are drunk twice as often (O’Brien, 2008; Ferreira, 2006). Also other alcohol-related consequences are more prevalent. There is a doubled risk of being taken advantage of sexually, riding with an intoxicated driver, being physically hurt or injured, and the need for medical treatment.

This report offers a first exploration of the availability of these drinks in Europe.

The full fact sheet can be downloaded and read here

the green and healthy image of alcohol More and more negative effects of alcohol consumption are highlighted in the media. There is a raising awareness of alcohol related problems. In a reaction, we can see that the alcohol industry actively tries to build an image of responsible alcohol: Alcohol which suits a healthy lifestyle and is in line with efforts to improve the environment. Some of the dangers of this one sided perspective of the “contributions” of alcohol in society are discussed in this report.

The full report can be downloaded and read here