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Getting Creative Amid Tightening Advertising Controls

Getting Creative Amid Tightening Advertising Controls

There’s greater pressure than ever before on the alcohol industry following a wide scale increase in alcohol consumption throughout the pandemic. A clampdown is now expected following federal court victories against companies that have allegedly misled consumers, with advocate bodies such as the Consumer Federation of America calling for greater enforcement. With that in mind, it’s crucial that brewers, and especially small-scale operations that are exposed to greater financial risk, get creative with their marketing - but keep it safe in the process. A few of the most successful beer campaigns have shown how to do this effectively.

Making it creative

There are two main areas of action that will combine to create an effective, yet responsible, beer marketing effort - technical and creative. The technical side requires careful management of digital content via SEO, PPC and content marketing, with marketing agency professionals focusing on the latter in the alcohol industry. Creative content will help to elevate the business on search engine rankings while also creating campaigns for consumers to engage with. According to The Drum, being creative is the absolute key for beer marketing - especially when wanting to avoid risky messages of overconsumption. Their experts point to larger brands like Dos Equis and Red Stripe as examples of where creativity has led to very funny and memorable adverts, reinforcing the casual side of beer drinking

Getting shelf space

The need for creativity is further being pushed forward by the shelf space war. According to the owner of Stone Brewing Company, profiled by Forbes, the rise of hard seltzers has created a lot of pressure on shelf space for beers. To respond, brewing companies need to create more interesting designs and creative flavors - something which also ticks the box in moving away from overconsumption. When the pulling factor of a product is its unique flavor, rather than its low cost to high alcohol volume, you’re on to a winner. Forbes highlights Stone Brewings’ Salt & Lime Lager as a key example.

A family affair

One of the most popular and well-known craft beers in the USA, Sierra Nevada Pale Ale, shows the way forward for safe and effective marketing. As The Guardian notes, the beer has continued to fly off the shelves in the USA, and it has tapped into a key part of the American national psyche in its marketing efforts. Sierra Nevada’s tagline is ‘Enjoy Outdoors’, and their marketing campaigns overwhelmingly feature the beer being drunk as a refreshment amid other active sports, like fishing and boating. This is a great way to market beer - as an accompaniment to other activities - and will ensure that a brand is seen as responsible while still being fun.

Pairing safety with fun is important. One of the experts interviewed for The Drum put it succinctly - beer shouldn’t be the catalyst for fun, it should just sometimes be there when fun is being had. Craft brewers harnessing this message stand to benefit more than most, and will be ahead of the pack when it comes to national trends.