As a society, we have become more aware of the prevalence of alcoholism. In prior generations, having a drink at work, having a drink every night, regularly attending happy hours, or drinking during business meetings was not only accepted practiced, but highly encouraged.
Over time and through extensive studies, the negative impact of alcohol has become more obvious than ever. Nevertheless, despite the data and today’s alarming rates of alcohol addiction, alcohol companies have set their marketing engines on full steam ahead.
From coming up with fresh, creative ways of attracting new clientele, glamorizing excessive alcohol consumption, and targeting younger audiences, the alcohol market has seemingly turned a blind eye to the obvious harm alcohol inflicts. Ignoring the addictive qualities and physical toll its product produces, the alcohol marketing approach has become exceptionally deceptive.
How Alcohol Marketing Glamorizes Alcohol Consumption
Picture this: A group of good-looking men and women in the latest fashions and swim attire with the most perfect hair and makeup hanging out on the beach. The sun is shining, the waves are just right, everyone is having the time of their lives. In everyone’s hand is a cold one. There’s music playing and everyone’s mingling while they toast to the good life.
In today’s media-centric world we live in, we are bombarded with videos, images, commercials, ads, and messages that exist for one purpose: to sell viewers on an (unrealistic) lifestyle and influence individuals to buy the advertised alcohol product. The message is clear: if you consume this alcohol, your life can be as advertised.
While appealing and often times extremely seductive, alcohol brands have mastered the art of saturating our lives with glamorized, unattainable propaganda.
Of course, alcohol marketing adds the disclaimer to drink responsibly to the end of advertisements, but it’s never the focal point of the ad and it’s commonly addressed from a sped-up voice or very fine print in order to make the advertisement fit the necessary time restrictions.
After all, by the time this message strikes, people may have already fallen victim to the deceitful ploys of the alcohol industry.
The Effects of Modern Alcohol Marketing & Branding
In an article by the Society for the Study of Addiction, Lead Editor and Professor at the University of Connecticut, Thomas Babor, stated, “…No other legal product with such potential for harm is as widely promoted and advertised in the world as alcohol.”1
Today’s society fights more than ever to gain attention and the alcohol market plays right into this vulnerability. With strategic images and often times celebrity-driven marketing, the alcohol market entices individuals to think drinking alcohol is the key to attaining popularity and having a good time. Here are the most prominent ways the alcohol market tries to lure individuals to drink:
- Shiny, colorful packaging
Alcohol branding is so much more than it used to be. With a human’s attention span at 12 seconds, the alcohol industry has created a way to grab our attention when we’re away from our TVs and radios: eye catching packaging. Alcohol marketing has started to place drinks in colorful, flashy cans to attract shoppers and even appeal to younger generations.
- Endorsed by popular celebrities
Well-known celebrities who endorse alcoholic products can help alter an individual’s attitude and behavior toward the product and promote alcohol consumption.
- Priced inexpensively
As a legal product that is widely available in stores across the country, the price of most alcoholic beverages is affordable – putting them well within the budget of anyone looking to use and abuse alcohol.
- Younger generations are strategically incorporated into a growing number of advertisements
The alcohol market knows that youth sells. This is why a growing number of alcohol advertisements show young, attractive individuals as opposed to life-long addicts suffering from all the common ailments that alcoholism creates.
The Link Between Alcohol Marketing and Alcoholism
Although there are no studies directly linking alcohol marketing to alcohol addiction, the fact of the matter remains that alcoholism is the leading cause of serious addiction plaguing this country.
Turn on any major sporting event or prime time television network and you’ll be inundated with alcohol marketing.
According to the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health, approximately 20.1 million Americans
12 or older had a substance use disorder. However, the biggest group noted within this study were alcohol addicts totaling 15.1 million of those participating in the survey.2
Regardless if there are known studies directly linking alcohol marketing to alcoholism, when two billion dollars are spent a year on alcohol marketing,3 it’s easy to see why business is booming for alcohol companies while consumers are contending with life-threatening alcohol addiction.
Individualized Alcohol Addiction Treatment at Covenant Hills
Alcohol addiction is a self-perpetuating cycle that doesn’t have to rule your life forever. If you or a loved one contend with alcoholism, there is life-changing support to break the cycle and get your life back on track.
The professional help and individualized support that is available at Covenant Hills is unmatched. Through our faith-based alcohol addiction treatment program, your mind, body and soul will be given the complete attention they need to fully heal. You can reclaim control over your health and life.
Learn about our gender-specific, faith-based alcohol addiction treatment program, or contact us for a free and confidential assessment.
The Society for the Study of Addiction. Press Release. Current controls on alcohol marketing are not protecting youth, warn public health experts. Accessed July 2, 2018. http://www.addictionjournal.org/press-releases/current-controls-on-alcohol-marketing-are-not-protecting-youth-warn-public-heal.
National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Key Substance Use and Mental Health Indicators in the United
States: Results from the 2016 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. July 1, 2018.
Multinational Monitor. Intoxicating Brands: Alcohol Advertising and Youth. July 2, 2018.