EP 184: Reader Question – Does alcohol advertising really work?

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From billboards to commercials to magazine ads, alcohol marketing is everywhere. But does this really work? Or is it geared for a certain ‘addictive’ audience? With greater than 10 years of marketing experience, Annie shares fascinating research, crazy statistics, and what the ultimate marketing goals are in this multi-million dollar industry.

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My Background

Nobody wants to admit that they’re influenced. We want to feel in control of our destinies. To feel free to choose our own paths. We want to feel uninfluenced by marketers’ ploys because that’s just how we are. So we feel like advertising isn’t affecting us because we’re not consciously aware of its power. The reality is, and I come from over a decade of experience within the marketing field, is that your staunch belief that alcohol advertising doesn’t influence you is actually one of the reasons that it is so effective.

Alcohol Advertising Works

An article in the Scientific American actually says, quote, “The error we often make is to assume that we can control the effects an ad has on our behavior, because we’re consciously aware of its content.” Even consciously rejecting an ad’s message doesn’t ensure that your subconscious mind doesn’t buy into the scam. We may consciously think, oh, that’s ridiculous. I know that drinking this brand of tequila isn’t going to lead to a threesome. Yes, that’s alcohol advertising.

What happens?

When we’re feeling lonely, we suddenly have this seemingly unrelated thought pop into our heads. I want to drink, so why is this? It’s because our unconscious is actually responsible for our desires, and our emotions, and our unconscious has bought these underlying messages through alcohol advertising, bought the things that drinking can somehow improve our happiness. Studies in the last 18 months have actually brought to light how profoundly our unconscious mind shapes our day-to-day thoughts and decisions, with little to no thought, and this is why alcohol advertising influences you in such profound ways, especially when you’re not consciously aware of it.

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Special music thank you to the Kevin MacLeod Funkorama (incompetech.com)
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