Alcomarketing: how to sell a green snake

For obvious reasons, alcohol is not the easiest product for a marketing company. It can not be sold to everyone, not always and not everywhere. Laws concerning the sale and advertising of alcohol products vary in different countries and eras. It is not proven that advertising per se increases alcohol consumption, but it does allow for raising awareness of a particular brand and customer loyalty to it.

The laws restricting alcohol advertising were created by the European Union in 1989:

  • Advertising should not be aimed at minors, or show minors who consume alcohol
  • Advertising should not associate alcohol consumption with increased physical performance or improved driving skills.
  • Advertising should not create the impression that drinking alcohol contributes to social or sexual success.
  • Advertising should not represent alcohol as a therapeutic or stimulant, as well as a means to resolve personal conflicts.
  • Advertising should not encourage excessive consumption of alcohol, and also put moderate consumption / abstinence in a negative light.
  • Advertising should not represent a high alcohol content as a positive quality drink.

The Internet is probably the most difficult to regulate in the field of alcohol advertising. The only thing that sites offer is an indication of the date of birth, which you do not need to prove in any way.

Advertising alcohol in Russia

Advertising alcohol in Russia is prohibited in the press, on radio, television, outdoor formats and on the Internet. Regarding the latter, as always, reservations, but more on that later. Under the category of alcohol in the Russian Federation falls "food products with an ethyl alcohol content above 0.5%." Thus, the only drink that is not subject to the law on advertising is non-alcoholic beer. True, the manufacturer will have to CAPITAL LETTERS write that in beer 0% alcohol. This does little to help - the law applies not only to the product itself, but also to the brand as a whole. Simply put, “Baltic 9” cannot be advertised, because it is “nine”, and “Baltic 0” - because it is “Baltic” ☺

With the bans figured out, now look at how to get around them.

  • Brewers can advertise their products during sports breaks, including the traditional "alcoholic" beer. Technically, this is not even a circumvention of the law, but a completely authorized loophole.
  • I heard on the radio an example as simple as a genius. Maybe you heard him. The bottom line: two men are discussing a meeting with friends, one of them, it seemed to me, imitates the voice of the character Buldakov from the "Features of the National Hunt." The discussion passes to the next store of draft drinks and the assortment of snacks presented in it, after which Buldakov says: “What about the fish, is it there?”. The word "beer" does not sound, but everything is clear, and the law is not broken.
  • You can hand out flyers if distributors are over 18 and they distribute flyers to adults.
  • You can spam real mailboxes in the porches of houses. Remember these things on the walls, right?
  • Umbrella brands. The bottom line is to release a different kind of product under your brand. Alco-brands quickly jumped at the idea, but now such “mischief” is forbidden and may result in huge fines.
  • On the night air you can support the domestic producer and watch the advertising of wines produced in the Russian Federation.
  • Advertise alcohol, including strong, you can in the places of its distribution (wow). You walk along Auchan, you lift your eyes, and there is vodka on the screen. It seems logical, but there’s no way of sifting Central Asia. Actions with tasting can also be held in the notorious distribution points, unless, of course, not to offer alcohol to minors.

Advertising alcohol in social networks

From Facebook’s rules on alcohol advertising:

Advertising in which alcohol is offered or mentioned must comply with Facebook's requirements for the target audience and current local legislation. Please note that ads that offer or mention alcohol are prohibited in some countries, including the following: Afghanistan, Brunei, Bangladesh, Egypt, Gambia, Kuwait, Libya, Norway, Pakistan, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.

Rules "Vkontakte" governing alcohol advertising:

It is forbidden to advertise on the VK site:
3.5. Any alcoholic (including beer) and tobacco products, smoking accessories (including electronic cigarettes), as well as VKontakte apps and communities that advertise such products.

It is forbidden to publish advertisements, but you can lead groups:

Group "Fragrant world" VK:

In communities, in fact, it is possible to engage in standard SMM: promotions, practical jokes, interesting facts, fun. So the restrictions seem to be there, and it seems that they don’t need to be circumvented.

Alcohol and content marketing

Alcohol is a very suitable product for KM.

You can post cocktail recipes using the promoted brand alcohol:

And you can blog about parties, products and, again, cocktails:

Budweiser will teach beer snacks.

Alcohol and classic advertising

Alcobrand evangelists also advertise products - not only with empty bottles on the street, but also with real actions. For example, a touching video for Johnnie Walker, filmed by amateurs, and turned viral:

And the brands themselves, as a rule, choose their own style, emphasizing status, history, or defining their target audience. Below are a few examples of how to advertise alcohol beautifully and stylishly without any “oviplokosov” and associations with bastards and heavy hangovers.


"We are the night." The slogan is great not only to describe the night party-goers, but also to the bat, which is a symbol of the brand.

Do not forget the "Bacardi" and its long difficult history:

In addition, Bacardi launched the Champions drink campaign responsibly (“Champions drink responsibly”), whose first person was Michael Schumacher in 2008:

-Look Schumacher on the list! I parked his car.
-No, me!
- When I go to the bar, my car stays at home.

William Lawson's

"William Lawson" at one time released a rather provocative advertisement based on the "Basic Instinct" and kilts:

However, the brand still emphasizes its brutality, beardiness and Scottishness:


Martini has created an image of a light and chic drink for sophisticated parties:

Playful ad with young Charlize Theron

George Clooney as actor of the golden age of Hollywood

Video with Monica Belucci with the participation of the legendary Dolce and Gabbana

Luxury theme in modern videos subsided, but did not disappear


The legendary beer brand in its advertising tells about the importance of friendship on the touching example of a horse and a puppy. #bestbuds are the best buddies, perfectly matching both the brand name and its values.

By the way, Clydesdale breed horses involved in advertising have for many years been a symbol of Budweiser and have been involved in their marketing campaigns.

But a video about a foal who wanted to quickly become a Budweiser horse and haul a branded carriage:

Or a video about a horse that recognized its owner three years later:

Disclaimer: the rollers are very touching, downright tears, so prepare a scarf ☺

Rum for what ?!

Alcohol advertising is a delicate matter. Drinks with a degree often fell into disgrace - up to a complete ban and the "dry law", which, however, did not end with anything good and contributed to the rise of moonshine. However, in “alcohol marketing” it is also possible to successfully promote a brand, build loyalty, SMM, attract stars and launch social projects, use classical advertising and content marketing. How do you think it is best to promote alco-brands? Share your opinion in the comments.

Watch the video: Alcomarket (February 2020).


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