The social media age can be the best and the worst time to promote alcohol. It is one of the most creative times for the industry, as well as one of the most restrictive with strict new regulations coming into place around the promotion of alcohol on social platforms.
Below are a few suggestions to help you navigate through this time while still creating inventive and engaging content:
Don’t be suggestive
Social content can’t suggest that alcohol has certain effects on individuals. These include not suggesting that alcohol can enhance attractiveness or be a component in sexual success, or implying that alcohol can boost confidence or popularity.
It is also important that the social content does not imply that alcohol can overcome boredom or loneliness, or that it has therapeutic qualities and is capable of changing mood or behaviour. Alcohol within lifestyle content should be suggested to be a situation amplifier in which it is not the main focus or main act of the situation, but a something that is noticeably in the background.
Be wary of being seen as targeting underage drinker
Social promotions for alcohol, unsurprisingly, must not be directed or targeted at those under the age of 18, or feature those under 25 in their content. This means that extra care needs to be taken when choosing the media in which the post or ad will appear, as well as the characters used in the content (real or fictitious) to ensure that it does not have particular appeal to under 18s.
With influencer marketing being an ever-increasingly common way to advertise products, advertisers need to be sure that the creator or celebrity they work with does not have particular appeal to under-25s or an under-25 following. Avoid working with creators who create content that is more likely to appeal to young adults and check their demographic data for their followers.
If you are promoting an alcohol client, you need to ensure that there is nothing in the content of their promotion that is likely to encourage or condone irresponsible or excessive drinking. Particular care needs to be taken with promotional offers such as bottomless brunches, which allow time-limited free-flowing alcohol. If there’s a special promotion happening for your alcohol client, it is important to remember the key information is what the promotion is, i.e the text, not the imagery, which should be simple and gets the point across, not depicting lifestyle imagery of what the promotion can lead too.
Shifting the focus away from the act of drinking
Depicting alcohol as a social accessory is the most common way of shifting the focus, whether this be a dinner party friend or having a picnic, as long as this doesn’t make the product the primary focus of the situation. Directing social media content towards events such as fundraisers can also be an effective method, while still offering a marketing opportunity for food and drink public relations.