Thursday, April 14

Let's Grab A Beer

My house would be perfect for "customized television advertising" -- where cable companies know my media and spending habits and therefore only show me advertising that is customized to my attitudes and behaviors.

I don't buy beer and I'm not a beer drinker. So when I see beer advertising, I don't really get it. Even from a creativity standpoint, even as a marketer I don't really get it. Goes right over my head. So advertising beer to my household is a waste of media money. Clearly, I am not the target market.

So it took one of my students at NYU to show me why. It's all about the consumer behavior, a lesson that I always speak about. Start with the consumer!

Beer brands are targeted to young men, and therefore beer ads are written and created to appeal to young men. Young straight men. Single young straight men. Single young straight men who hang out with other single young straight men.

Now not ALL beer, but the vast majority and certainly the big big brands.

What's the most popular thing that young straight men say to each other? "Let's Grab A Beer". For any reason. To talk about work, talk about girls, relax after going to the gym, happy hour, after a long day at work, hang out and watch tv -- you name it. They are always "Let's Grab A Beer" when ever there is downtime or something to talk about.

So the advertising is geared toward that culture. "Let's Grab A Beer."

Now I get it. The advertising is tapping into that mentality, tapping into that consumer behavior. That specific consumer behavior. Now I get it.

See you can teach an old dog new tricks!

What's your experience? Jim.


  1. I agree on the core target and I think beer tends to pump more money into sponsorships than other categories (sports, concerts). I've seen some of the light beers, like Amstel, target women in some of their creative which makes sense. There are a few that stand out like Corona using a couple on a pristine beach. The current Michelob Ultra Light campaign takes a leap with Lance Armstrong as spokesperson. This is targeting actives, using males and females equally (cycling, golf, BBQs). Cool and casual. It's also interesting to see how Armstrong was able to get exposure for Livestrong in the creative. One spot shows him in Livestrong apparel and another clearly shows the iconic yellow bracelet on his wrist as he stands at a bar with a Michelob Ultra in his hand.

  2. Good point ... don't want to over exaggerate my post here. Not all beer is targeted as I have mentioned. Just making an exaggerated point that it's all about the targeting, and if you're not the target then the message goes right over your head!

    Thanks for commenting, Maryanne ... great to "see" you! Jim

  3. Are men target for Victoria's Secret underwear TV copies? I don't think any straight man watching TV with his wife/girlfriend/alone would skip through a Victoria's Secret commercial. They probably don't get the message but they understand the drama going on and they are attracted to it so the the overall message doesn't get lost.

    So to your point on beer advertising, say you are having a couple of guy friends over who you know like beer and may ask you for beer, even if you don't drink beer you will have to go and buy for them, and even if you call them and ask which brand they prefer they may reply "any brand works for me" so it will be up to you to choose.

    Which brand would you choose? Don't overlook the power of halo effect!!!

    All the best!

  4. Thanks, Jim. Men were always #1 with beer, but growth in the market forced creativity in finding and appealing to new audiences. There are now, e.g., 3 or 4 different brews for the major domestic brands, imports, microbrews, seasonal, etc. While Bud may have a presence at Nascar, you would see something like the Heineken brands tied to USTA or PGA. It's fun to see it's not just about the Super Bowl and that's good for the market, too.