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Trending alcohol advertising content themes for 2014

Looking at our selection of the best and the worst ads of alcohol in 2013  we try to identify trends in alcohol advertising content for 2014. How to make your next campaign viral? What content will make target audience flock to the bar? Is the answer hidden in the last years most successful campaigns?

Budweiser Beer Ad, c1950

Budweiser Beer Ad, c1950 (Photo credit: alsis35 (now at ipernity))

Top 5 Trending Alcohol Advertising Content Themes

1. Storytelling

Alcohol brands are expanding their messages to shape longer stories. There are plenty of examples from 2013, and some of them are on our list of the best alcohol advertising campaigns. The stories are often focused on the values of the brand, more than on the product itself. See for example this years most shared Super Bowl ad from Budweiser.

The newest Molson Canadian extension of the Beer Fridge with Project Indonesia is making this trend to the new level with a trip that connects Canadian national proud, sports, friendship and exotic travel.

We can also mention here Grey Goose: Fly Beyond and Bacardi Untameable. Those two campaigns are bringing us to the next trend which is:

2. Focus on Heritage and Craftmanship

Both brands from Bacardi portfolio are focusing their latest campaigns on the history of the brand, heritage that leads them through and against the history fed by passion to deliver the best product. This trend seems to replace former way of advertising strong liquors via celebrities and aspirational reference group.

3. New role models

Role models are still visible in alcohol advertising, however not in the straightforward way. Absolut brand, for example, connects itself with creativity and artistic lifestyle with its Absolut: Transform Today campaign. It even allows participation in this world via initiatives like Absolut Open Film Project.

On the other hand, we can see anti-celebrities as in Southern Comfort: Whatever’s Comfortable – Karate.

4. Travel inspiration

Not only Molson Canada travels with the Beer Fridge. Heineken Dropped is a reality TV style campaign that features Heineken fans put into the exotic places. Alcohol advertisement learns also from standard travel commercials.

The perfect example is Cruzan Rum: Welcome to the Don’t Hurry series of ads.

5. Brand extension

The best campaigns of 2013 are also those that extend brand image outside of the traditional audience. Slo Down Wine with its Goes Great With advertisement does not appeal to the  traditional wine connoisseur.

Absolut in its Transform Today introduces artists that appeal to the young audience. Inclusion of haute couture fashion designer Yiqing Yin is a clear sign that brands are looking at women as an equal target audience.

It seems that only Dewar’s missed this trend and paid for it with public outrage after its Meet the Baron advertisement. Grey Goose is extending its brand to other product categories with a Boulangerie François on London’s Shaftesbury Avenue that offers Grey Goose confitures and bread made with the same wheat as vodka.

Do you agree with the selection above?


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About Piotr Wrzosiński

Piotr Wrzosinski is a sociologist focused on digital marketing in highly regulated industries. He combines experience from top players in tobacco, financial services, and pharma with a passion to the content marketing and technology. All opinions posted are his own unless stated otherwise.

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