Summer & alcohol: Market responsibly

Beer before liquor, never sicker; liquor before beer, in the clear. The old adage may ring true at a frat party, but not when it comes to findings from a recent study conducted by creative agency BFG, whose client roster includes booze biggies Diageo, Miller, Captain Morgan, hipster drink of choice Pabst Blue Ribbon, and others.

In an effort to understand what triggers the drinkers of adult beverages to do what they do when and where they do it this summer, BFG conducted 552 in-person interviews (300 males and 252 females) throughout May across 22 major U.S. markets, including Los Angeles, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, and Atlanta.

BFG distilled its findings into a nifty infographic (see left and click to enlarge), the upshot of which is this: Brands need to tailor their messaging to different demos, because what prompts a female to drink a margarita in a bar is very different from what drives a male to crack open a beer on his couch.

“In marketing, it’s never a one-size-fits-all methodology,” says BFG chief research officer and sometimes rum or margarita drinker Kyle Langley (at right). “Before a marketer does any campaign, they need to look at the different motivations behind why people drink at home versus when they’re out of the home.”

Speaking of, when asked what drink they’d be most likely to opt for when drinking at home this summer, overall, 47% of those surveyed resoundingly pointed to beer, followed by vodka at 11%, whiskey at 8%, rum at 7% and wine at 4%. Broken down by gender, beer is still ahead: 66% of males and 29% of females will be reaching for at-home brewskies.

When tippling at bars, clubs, or restaurants, the preference numbers shift slightly, but beer still comes out on top, with 36% overall saying beer is the way to go out-of-home, trailed by mixed drinks such as margaritas and daiquiris at 17%.

It’s mostly women, however, who are most likely to try new mixed drinks when they’re out and about, whereas the lads, especially the younger ones, make their beer purchases based on price, always on the hunt for a good happy hour. Specific taste profile aside, convenience and ease are two of the strongest motivators when it comes to what people buy.

Though there’s been industry chatter that beer drinking is on the decline, whoever says beer is on the rocks is clearly mistaken, at least looking at the results of BFG’s study. Beer, says Langley, continues to reign supreme.

“Beer is still the king, regardless of what people think about the major brewing companies,” says Langley.

More than just the actual drinks, brands are selling a state of mind, says Langley. Imagine yourself sitting in a deck chair on a white sand beach with the ocean lapping on the horizon, it’s hot but pleasant…oh, wait. I’m describing a Corona commercial.

“For marketers, it needs to be about more than the brand itself,” Langley says. “It needs to be about what the brand represents, especially during summer.”

And now, as Jimmy Buffett said, it’s 5 o’clock somewhere…

Want more infographics? Oh yes, we’ve got you covered. Check out these Direct Marketing News originals.

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