Utrecht, The Netherlands, 14-10-2022
The Dutch behavioral psychologist Sabine Jansen of the University of Utrecht questions the freedom that drink brands have to advertise with alcohol-free products with the same brand name as alcoholic drinks. There is a danger that consumers will mainly remember the brand name, for example in association with driving. That’s what Jansen told in the Dutch tv-program ”The Stand van Nederland: Generation Next”.
Jansen points to commercials for non-alcoholic beer that show that you can safely get behind the wheel after drinking a 0.0 beer. “As a consumer you don’t look at all advertisements from back to front. You remember the message that it’s okay to drink while driving. That is a dangerous association to induce.”
According to the behavioral psychologist, consumers mainly remember the message an advertisement in broad terms. “When you see people having a good time, you associate drinking with fun. In the longer term, a brand association is also created, so that you can link cosiness to a brand.”
Beverage brands can thus benefit from the freedom of advertising for non-alcoholic drinks, she warns. More restrictions apply to drink advertisements. “So there is something to be said for the fact that advertisements for non-alcoholic drinks are dangerous. The product name sticks and the feeling it brings.”
According to Jansen, the question remains whether the upcoming no-low beverages are a positive development. “We do not know. For example, I understand that the researcher of the Dutch Trimbos Institute says it’s a gateway because you get used to the taste. But there are many factors that influence alcohol use among young people.”
Illustration: the pop-up outdoor bar along a street in Rio de Janeiro offered drivers a free Heineken 0.0