Marketing And Advertising Of
Controversial Consumer Products: Alcohol
Any product and services today can easily generate controversy and receive a flood of negative responses in our social media world today. But there are some products that are more at risks than others. Tobacco, fast food and alcohol would be example of such a category. These products were described as “unmentionables”, “socially sensitive products”, “decent products”, or “controversial products” (Waller, Kim and Erdogan, p.7, 2005). There has been an increasing controversial advertising shown in various media in recent years although legal restrictions has been applied to these controversial products. Tobacco advertising and marketing used to be very successful in the past by undermining public health policies but recently has caused damaged to its market. Tobacco industry mislead the public on health problems related to smoking for more than 50 years and medical research has demonstrated that smoking tobacco will cause cancer (The American Cancer Society, 2015). These days, cigarettes are being sold in standardised packaging that is covered with large health warnings and this denotes the final nail in the coffin of tobacco advertising. As for alcohol, there is no exact parallel between smoking and alcohol. The consumption of alcohol considered to have potentially adverse health consequences. Alcohol advertising is one of the most highly regulated form of marketing along with tobacco advertising. Despite of these restricted regulations across different countries, alcohol advertising is getting even bigger these days as spending on alcohol advertising has shot up 400 percent per the last four decades ( Wilcox, Kang and Chilek, 2015). Even Advertising Age's Top 100 Ad Campaigns of the 20th Century featured a handful of ads from the alcohol industry, so it's no surprise alcohol can advertise just as well as it tastes (Perlick Bar and Beverage, 2017). This essay will demonstrates that the marketing of alcohol is largely dependent on the category its in, beer, wine or distilled spirits. However, in the last few decades, how each category is marketed has also changed to adapt to social and cultural pressures against drinking.
Alcohol, Its Rich History and Problems
Drinking is the second most important of all human activities after breathing. It is even more important than feeding as the complete elimination of drinks from the body will result in death is faster than starvation. Alcohol beverages date back to the very early part of man's history. At the point when people found that the juice delivered pleasant feelings and reduced discomfort, they start to intentionally produce and alcoholic drink. In almost every part of the world different civilisations has built up some type of alcoholic beverages (NARCONON, n.d.). Apparently, beer was the first alcoholic beverage known to civilisation and most widely consumed alcoholic beverages It is the third most popular drink overall after water and tea. Beer, is produced by brewing and fermentation of starches, mainly derived from cereals most commonly malted barley although wheat, maize (corn) and rice are also used (Nayak, 2015). By 6000 BC, the cultivation of grapevines were originated in the mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas, for the purpose of making wine. In 4000 BC, Mesopotamia (which is the present day Iraq) had established wine making (NARCONON, n.d.). When Egypt hit its stride around 3000 BC, both beer and wine are produced; wine production and shipping became an important business throughout the Mediterranean (Alcohol Facts, n.d.). Other than that, Romans made wine from Wine was important in Romans' commerce as well, sometimes being used in trade for slaves who then worked in the vineyards.
In many ancient and classical cultures, gods were associated with various alcoholic beverages, particularly beer, wine, and mead. Around 1500 BC, the Roman god Dionysus began to show up in literature. It is possible that a variety of alcoholic beverages were used in China well before they were used in the West. Alcohol was used as a spiritual (mental) food rather than a material (physical) food. It is thought that alcoholic drinks were used as a feature of festivities, when taking an oath of office or before going into battle, as well as occasions such as births, deaths and marriages. Christianity and Islam, the two religions that emerged in the same millennium produced unique, divergent, and persistent relationships with alcohol. Christianity elevated one alcoholic beverage which is wine to a position of centrality in its symbolism and rituals, while Islam is the ﬁrst major religion known to have rejected alcohol entirely and to have forbidden its followers to drink alcoholic beverages (Phillips, 2014). Distilled spirits, with their considerably higher liquor levels, had been made in Europe for medicinal purposes in very small volumes for a century or more, yet they turned out to be substantially more broadly accessible and devoured amid the 1500s. Producers in some regions began to take advantage of the distilled spirits being made in commercial volumes to add brandy as a conservation agent (Phillips, 2014). In the 1600s, overly consumed of beer and wine caused drunkenness became a widespread problem in England. A lot of temperance societies were formed in new countries as religious groups fled to America in the next century. During that century, alcohol can be used in moderation for pleasure, enjoyment and health. But drunkenness was not encourage.
In America, the first distillery was established on Staten Island and Massachusetts has grown hops to supply the breweries. A rum distillery has also started in 1657 in Massachusetts. This would soon become New England's most prosperous industry and give rise to smuggling activities along the coast, as alcohol production was taxed in the colonies. Alcohol became the focal point of many anxieties, whether they concerned social and economic changes or shifts in values and behaviour. It was held responsible for sickening or killing its consumers, for ruining families, and for causing behaviour as varied as prostitution, suicide, insanity, and criminality (Phillips, 2014). The first American temperance society is formed with goal of reducing alcohol consumption and similar societies soon follow in other states (Alcohol Facts, n.d.). To reduce to epidemic of drunkenness, taxes was increased on gin. The culture of reliability and sobriety started to spread when industrialisation begin to widen up and the cultures are strongly influenced b mill owners that need workers who could work. When industrialisation spread, a new culture of reliability and sobriety began to spread with it, no doubt encouraged by mill owners who needed employees who could work. Although the attempt to completely ban alcohol drinking made by America with Prohibition but it did little to curb drinking and it gave rise to organised crime that trafficked in illegal alcohol (NARCONAN, n.d.). Political elites often adopted a compromise position of alcohol control; that is, a way of making alcohol available in a way to minimise the harms from drinking through such policies as state monopolies (Room cited in Baumberg and Anderson, 2006). The history shows that alcohol is something for survival and spiritual but as time goes on, the alcohol consumption is being abused. Moving to the modern time, the problems caused by drinking alcohol becomes even more serious.
In 2014, the World Health Organisation estimated that there were 2.7 billion people worldwide consuming alcohol beverages In 2011, 76.3 million had an alcohol use disorder and 3.3 million deaths in 2012 were attributable to alcohol consumption (WHO, 2014). Alcohol problems exist on a continuum of severity ranging from social consumer to alcohol dependence. The reliance and unfortunate consequences that can result from people drinking alcohol are similar to those that result from taking drugs that are less socially acceptable. Alcoholism is
“a chronic illness or disorder characterised by some loss of control over drinking, with habituation or addiction to the drug alcohol, or causing interference in any major life function such as health, job, family, friends or the law” (Arshad, Omar and Shahdan, 2015).
There are four phases of alcoholism, which are social drinking, looking for the mood change, and continually seeking the mood change and addiction (Singleton, 2017). The effects of alcohol consumption on the health can be divided into immediate and long-term effect. Immediate effects of alcohol consumption are that it will cause many different types of injuries such as road crashes, work-related accidents or sudden cardiac arrest. Long-term effect of alcohol use on the other hand is that moderate alcohol use may protect against thinning of the bones, which makes the bones more likely to break(WHO, 2013). Obesity, high blood pressure, coronary heart disease, pancreatitis and mental health problems such as depression and alcohol dependency are the other chronic conditions as a result of alcohol consumption (William and Vinson, 2001). Alcohol also increases the risk of developing certain cancers including liver, mouth, oesophagus, pharynx and breast and bowel and colorectal cancer. Development of alcoholism requires many years can be developed quickly, especially in teenagers. Alcohol is the most widely used and abused drug among young people. In 2015, 7.7 million young people ages 12–20 reported that they drank alcohol beyond “just a few sips” (SAMSHA, 2016). Alcohol consumption during adolescents may cause problems related to normal development. As for teenagers, drinking alcohol may lead cause bad performances in school or college and this may create negative impact on their future opportunities in life. Furthermore, youths that involve in alcohol consumption will have higher chance to engage in vandalism or other criminal acts and they might become sexually active as well.
Those individuals who drink at a young age are more likely to try other drugs and they could be on a path to the hell of lifelong drug addiction (Powell, Williams and Wechsler, 2004). Drinking can result not only in harm to the drinker but also to others. The family of the drinker or society in general, bears the burden of the cost of health care, loss of productivity and financial support for the drinker, the drinker's family or other victims of drinking. Drinking can also result in alcohol abuse. Alcohol abuse refers to “the misuse of alcohol resulting in problems to the abuser and those he or she may affect and alcoholism involves developing a dependency on alcohol” (Singleton, 2007). The problems associated with drinking alcohol is due to the aggressive alcohol advertising which increase the exposure of alcohol advertisement to consumers. All types of media including television, music and music videos, films, paid placements in films and TV shows, the Internet, grassroots word of mouth, and sports sponsorship appear to be increasing as a medium for alcohol commercial communications (Babor, Colom, Hastings, Hope, Putte and Ulstein, 2007). Given out with these health and social problems caused by drinking alcohol, it seems that it is impossible that alcohol should be marketed but yet it was heavily advertised. In 2014, alcoholic beverages made 60% of the U.S. beverage market with $211.6 billion in sales (Park Street Imports, n.d.).
The Evolving Beer Market
Alcohol industry is divided into 3 categories: beer, wine and distilled spirits. The beer industry is one of the largest money makers and markets in the United States. In 2014 alone, the beer industry made approximately $101.5 billion in sales and produced over 197 million barrels of beer, or more than 6 trillion gallons (Brewers Association, cited in Robinson, 2016). Being a huge industry in the U.S., beer producers tend to dominate the world of advertising with individual brands spending as much as $539 million in advertising in 2014 (statista, n.d). Countries around the world use a wide range of policies to control alcohol advertising and marketing. The most common approach is voluntary self-regulation (Casswell and Maxwell, 2005). According to WHO, 72 out of 132 countries reported in 2008 having restriction on alcohol advertising, with 60 reporting no restrictions. The greatest restrictions were in Eastern Mediterranean, Nordic and South-East Asian countries. Restrictions include: the types of alcohol that can be marketed through each media; restrictions on placement, duration or saturation and content. Most of the regulation is focused on ‘traditional' media such as television, radio, print and outdoor advertising (Casswell and Maxwell, 2005). While the regulation of alcohol marketing through new media (e.g. social media) and through new products is less well advanced. Other than that, product placement, branded events and sponsorship of entertainment and sports are often outside the scope of many countries' regulations (Casswell and Maxwell, 2005).
Malaysia is a multicultural country comprising Malay, Chinese, Indian, and other races. Malays accounted for 50% of total population of 32 million people (worldometers, 2017), Chinese accounted for 22.6% while Indian accounted for 6.7% of the total population (CIA, 2017). It has a number of religions being practiced such as Islam, Buddhist, Hinduism and Christianity in this multicultural and multiracial country. Though Malaysia is multi-racial and multi religious country, Islam considered as the main religion. Hence the Advertising Code for Television and Radio is influenced by the government's effort to promote islamic values throughout the country. This includes the imposition of stricter regulations on the mass media content based on Islamic principles and values. Islam also prohibits gambling and alcohol consumption. As Malaysia is a multicultural country, these restrictions were limited to national mass media such as television and printed media that are targeted at the Malay community. Other media such as Chinese, English and Tamil language newspapers and magazines were allowed to carry both gambling and alcohol advertisements (Waller and Kim, 2000). Previously the legal age drinking for Malaysia is 18 years old and above, but effectively from 1 December 2017, the legal age drinking would be raised to 21 (Aziz, 2016). In Malaysia The Advertising Standards Authority of Malaysia (‘ASAM') provides self-regulatory controls on advertising and marketing matters including alcohol. It relies on a system of guidance and voluntary compliance in order to be more flexible and beneficial in resolving disputes. Further, the Malaysia Code of Advertising Practice (“the code”) which is administered by ASAM sets out a basic framework for the regulation of advertising services/commercials in Malaysia. The code was implemented in line with the various laws, rules and guidelines provided in the International Code of Advertising Practice (GALA, 2011).
The United States(U.S.) is one of the world's most ethnically diverse and multicultural nations, and is home to the world's largest immigrant population. As of August 23, 2017, the U.S. has a total resident population of 326 million, making it the third most populous country in the world (worldometers, 2017). White American accounted for 77% of the total population, African American accounted for 13.3%, Asian American accounted for 5.6% of the total population (Census Bureau, 2016). It has a number of religions being practiced as well but Christianity accounted for 70.6% of the total population (Pew Research Centre, 2015). In the United States, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) has primary authority over alcohol labelling and advertising. In addition, numerous states place restrictions on alcohol advertising, and the alcohol industry operates under various self-regulatory industry codes (ANPHA, 2014). The advertising regulations listed in the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) for: wine is under 27 CFR Part 4, distilled spirits is under 27 CFR Part 5 and malt beverages is under 27 CFR Part 7 (TTB, 2017). There are also self-regulatory bodies that create standards for the ethical advertising of alcohol as the Federal Trade Commission has long encouraged the alcohol industry to adopt and comply with self-regulatory standards and most alcohol advertisers have pledged to comply with one of three voluntary self-regulatory code. Distilled Spirits Council's Code of Responsible Practices from Distilled Advertising Council of the United States for distilled Spirits industry, Advertising and Marketing Code by Beer Institute for beer industry and Code of Advertising Standards by Wine Institute for wine industry.
Health claiming Alcoholic Beverages
In the early days of alcohol marketing and advertising, brands would market themselves as a healthy beverages. Alcohol companies in the U.S. tout super-light beers offering athletic and fitness prowess to attract fans and athletes of high-endurance sports. In 2002, Anheuser-Busch InBev introduced a new light beer called Michelob Ultra just as the Atkins diet was enjoying widespread popularity (Kaufman, 2005). One year after it was introduced, Michelob Ultra became the fastest-growing new brand in the beer industry and was a huge hit among adult fitness enthusiasts (Anheuser-Busch InBev, cited in EAT DRINK POLITICS, 2011). The beer's success demonstrated not only the public's interest in health and dieting, but the power of health claims in advertising. Later, U.S has made health claim about alcohol advertising is illegal.
While in Malaysia, an advertising slogan such as “drink more beer” in the 1930s which probably are not allowed today was a catchy phrase by Tiger beer to justify that beer was a nutritious and healthy thing to drink. Tiger beer ad in 1933 promotes beer drinking as it's rich in malt, it's nutritious and health-giving. Another early slogan for Tiger was ‘tenaga berganda' which translates to ‘multiple (more) energy' and it was in Mandarin. The 1960s Guinness print ad in Malay claims that Guiness contains nutritions, improve appetite and restore energy when you're exhausted or burned out after work. Later in 80s, a Guinness commercial was released in English talks about how Guinness is good for ‘inducing healthy sleep, as a tonic after illness, and during pregnancy'. Apparently, doctors back then also agreed to that claim (Fernandez, 2016). Benedictine D.O.M., a liqueur marketed internationally by Bacardi, has an average alcohol content of 40%. Its supermarket campaign targeted to women features a mother holding her infant (Jernigan and Indran, n.d.). Unfortunately, alcohol advertising on radio and televisions was outlawed in Malaysia in 1995 (Fernandez, 2016). The ban on advertising of alcohol beverage products has severely restricted communication with consumers and force the industry to find other means of promoting their products.
Lifestyle Oriented Marketing of Alcohol
Due to the ban on active advertising of alcoholic drinks in the media, alcohol brands have been relying heavily on other forms of direct and indirect promotion. Unlike many developed countries, in Malaysia most people drink not at home but in a bar, restaurant, club or coffee shop. A popular form of direct marketing in Malaysia is the use of young women to promote alcohol as Malaysian prefer personal contact in their transactions, and this preference drives the marketing activities for beer. Faced with strict restrictions on advertising, the brewers use much of their marketing budgets to finance weekly personal contact with their best customers. Both Guinness and Carlsberg hired young women to represent them in bars and restaurants, greeting customers and offering them the company's beer. The indirect way for alcohol brands to promote is through sponsoring of neon-light banners and signage for business outlets throughout Malaysia. For example, neon-light banners and signage with Carlsberg Green Label logo can be seen in many Chinese restaurants, pubs and coffee shops.
The aggressive advertising and promotion through both direct and indirect marketing are driving Malaysian to drink (Arshad, 2015). However, over time, alcohol brands use sophisticated promotional practices to target specific groups such as those starting to drink, regular young drinkers and established young drinkers. More recent, brands involved in post-modern marketing which advertising and branding are crafted to mirror and express dominant representations of youth culture and lifestyles such as music and sport. Heineken Malaysia organised “Live Your Music” campaign remixed the conventional concept of a music event, serving up music and DJs surrounded by food, active lifestyle, fashion and creative installations (HEINEKEN MALAYSIA, 2016). Tiger Beer has also organised a music and arts platform “UNCAGEMUSIC” showcasing the best audiovisual talents from Malaysia and beyond (The Star Online, 2017). As the official beer of EUFA EURO 2016, Carlsberg offered fans a chance to watch the semi-final live in France and also get to ‘Play on Pitch' at Stade de Lyon – the official stadium of the UEFA EURO 2016 (Marketing Magazine, 2016).
Compare to Malaysia, there's no ban was imposed on the alcohol advertising on radio and televisions in the U.S. but there are general and permanent rules that need to be followed. Alcohol advertising through television has been given a lot of attention. People often perceive alcohol advertisements as promoting a desirable lifestyle and image that they wish to experience. The alcohol advertisements associate wealth, success, social approval and leisurely life with drinking (Dring and Hope, 2001). Besides, alcohol brands play cleverly and effectively on the popularity of beer advertisements, which draws on the audience's pre-existing stereotypes and humor to engage viewers and increase their viewing enjoyment whilst conveying the brand's premium nature and desirability. In 2012, HEINEKEN has launched its tv commercial “The Switch” with a tag line “The perfect beer calls for the perfect bar” demonstrates how a cold glass of their brew can transform the dingiest dive into a bustling nightclub (Giles, 2012). Bud Light's recent ad “Between Friends” from ”Famous Among Friends" campaign, which seeks to position the nation's largest beer as a brew for bonding time among good buddies. The tag line reads, “You're not just drinking beers, you're building friendships” (Schultz, 2017).
“Back to Basic” Alcohol Marketing
Today, alcohol companies in the U.S. are still spending on traditional media especially television. The alcoholic-beverage industry spent $421 million on advertising in the first quarter of 2016 and 89% of its advertising dollars were spent on television, according to research done by Citigroup (Archer, 2016). But, a shift has occurred on their advertising strategy as alcohol brands tend to promote their products with “back to basics” approach, focuses on promoting their brand positioning. 62-year-old Anheuser-Busch is going back to one of its classic marketing techniques which is the “Buschhhh” can- crack sound. Its commercial shows a man standing along a mountain stream, opening a cold Busch beer, prompting the “Buschhhhhhhhh” sound that seems to never end. The can-crack sound originated in Busch's "Head for the Mountains" campaign that began in 1978 and continued in various ways through 2009 (Walsh, 2017). Carlsberg “reintroduce” itself into the market by launching an integrated marketing campaign called “The Danish Ways”, aiming to revitalising its Carlsberg brands with a premium positioning and reflect its rich history and Danish provenance. The campaign emphasise and celebrate the brand's Danish origins and bringing the new meaning to their iconic ‘Probably' line (Elbjorn, 2017).
As for Malaysia, alcohol companies approach other form of marketing strategy to increase their brand awareness. Guinness had its biggest St. Patrick's Weekend celebrations in Malaysia on March 17th to 19th with thousands of people across Malaysia gathered to celebrate all things Irish with a little help from the most Irish of beers – Guinness (TEG Editorial, 2017).There is also growing involvement of the alcohol industry in educational institutions. Carlsberg Malaysia gave out 300 sets of school items during the 2010 ‘Back To School' and 1000 sets of school items on 2012 ‘Back To School' project specially organised foe the indigenous community in East Malaysia (Bahari, 2010, BorneoPost Online, 2012). The contributions come under the company's corporate social responsibility (CSR). Their aim is to give back something to the community and improve the welfare of the underprivileged primary school pupils in the rural areas (Bahari, 2010). Other than that, Tiger Beer recently has teamed with not-for-profit organisation WWF coming out with 3890Tigers, a digitally-led campaign bringing art and creativity to raise awareness of the plight of endangered tigers as their numbers have dropped from an estimated 100,000 in the last century to as few as 3,890 today (PRNewswire, 2017). Tiger Beer has gathered six artists from six different countries to uncage their creativity and create pieces of creative artworks. Consumers can join this campaign fighting illegal tiger trade and help stop the demand for products with tiger parts by sharing these selfie art on social networks with the hashtag #3890Tigers. Tiger Beer will also remove its iconic tiger for the first time after 84 years from their logo and introducing a limited-edition design on their packaging, symbolising the threat of the wild tigers disappearing (Galeotti, 2017).
The Responsibility of Responsible Drinking
According to the Beer Institute, beer companies are "committed to a policy and practice of responsible advertising and marketing” and supposedly to consider and portray beer as a "legal beverage meant to be consumed responsibly.” (Beer Institute, 2015). Because of this, several companies launched campaigns to encourage responsible consumption of their product. Some of the campaigns urging responsible drinking are actually just another way to increase sales. The advertisements never offer the suggestion that drinking should be avoided by certain people and in certain situations, as a typical urging of responsibility might suggest (DeJong, Atkin and Wallack, 1992). Thus, these "moderation campaigns" seem to be a half-hearted effort on the part of the alcohol industry. Some common themes in beer advertisements or beer companies' moderation efforts in regard to entire "moderation campaigns,” lack of the responsible consumption instruction (Matter, 2011). The common themes in beer commercials by focusing on a set of individual television advertisements and explaining how the messages actually undermine the encouragement found at the end of each commercial to "drink responsibly” (Matter, 2011).
For the first time in over a decade, Budweiser tackle drunken driving during the Super Bowl. Budweiser has tapped Helen Mirren to talk about the problem and deliver anti-drunk message through the ad, which is called “Simple Put”. (Schultz, 2016). Budweiser created a mobile site called StandWithBud.com to support the ad which allows consumers search the ways they can get home safely. Budweiser has also partnered with Twitter to create a branded emoji, #GiveADamn, and promise will donate $1 dollar on safe ride programs (up to $1 million) in 2016 for every time the hashtag is used (Monllos, 2016). In February, HEINEKEN release a 90 second spot “When You Drive, Never Drink” partnership with Formula 1® (F1®). It is an obligation and an opportunity for HEINEKEN using their flagship brand to promote responsible behaviour to global audience through the Formula 1® global platform (HEINEKEN, 2017). The star of the video is a three-time Formula 1 champion and long-time road safety campaigner Sir Jackie Stewart and he's shown repeatedly refusing bottles of HEINEKEN. In the final scene, Jackie Stewart – now 77 years old – is shown leaving a glamorous party, again refusing offers of HEINEKEN from a waiter, saying “I'm still driving”, with a nod to his sports car which has just pulled up outside by valet parking, urging drinkers not to drink and drive (Editor, 2016). Close analysis of beer markets of both countries share very similar marketing strategies even though there is religious restrictions in Malaysia.
Selling Other Types of Alcohol
Wine has been around at most since 6,000 BCE. The earliest evidence of wine comes from a large pottery vessel from 5,400 BCE, found in the Zagros Mountains (Standage, 2005). Wine is mainly derived from fermenting black and white or green grapes fermented without the addition of sugars, acids, enzymes, water, or other nutrients. There are different types of wine namely Red wines, White Wines, Rose Wines, Sparkling wines, Fortified wines, etc. In general, the darker the color of wine, the longer the aging process. Wine is approximately 8 to 16 percent alcohol (Nayak, 2015). The wine trading between cultures opened up channels for religious and philosophical ideas to spread across Europe. Wine is still being used in the Catholic Church as a substitute for the blood of Christ, which is an indication of the key role the beverage has played in years gone by.
Advertising for wine is relatively low compared to beer. Media spend for wine brands was only 7% of that for beer in 2014 (Neilsen, 2015). Wine advertisements that we often see on print, 86% of it used either photograph of the bottled and labeled wine or an artistically stylised image of a bottle or a wine-bottle motif (Tiefenbacher, 2013). Wine often portray as a high-class product as it possesses the style or class to meet the desires of the status-minded consumer or fits in their world. As century ago, wine industry was the mark of a provident country. Only developed societies could able to support such prosperous and competitive wine industry (Arena Online, 2015). This is also because of the precision needed in the process of wine making which caused people perceived wine as a sensual and sophisticated drink. Recently, wine has becoming more widely consumed than ever before globally. This is due to the practice of wine digital marketing as wineries promote their brands through different types of digital advertising such as social media advertising, search engine advertising and also email marketing (Viana, 2016). Indeed wine, has now reflects a new view of the role that alcoholic drink plays in the enjoyment of food, social experiences and life itself (Bruwer and Li, 2007). It is conceived to be a fundamental component of the experiences of cuisine, culture, travel and place.
The remaining major category of alcoholic drink is distilled spirits, often called "hard liquor."
It is obtained by distillation from wine and other fermented fruit or plant juice that has first been brewed. The natural fermentation process stops when the alcohol content reaches 14 percent. However, the discovery of the distillation process by the Arabs lead to the use of this type of beverage with its higher alcoholic content. Distillation involves heating the substance of choice and capturing the steam that is released. When cooled, the steam contains less water and more alcohol. A number of different products are used for distilled spirits (School Of Public Health, n.d.). Varieties of Spirits include Whisky, Brandy, Rum, Gin, Vodka and Tequila.
Whisky is made from the fermenting of grains, largely using barley malt and is aged in oak wood casks. The types of whiskies are such as Scotch, Irish whiskey, Canadian Whiskey, Rye, Bourbon, Malt Whiskey, Grain whiskey, Vatted Malt whiskey, etc (Nayak, 2015). Brandy is an alcoholic liquor distilled from wine or fermented fruit juice and is suitably matured in oakwood casks. A minimum of 3 years required for Brandy to matured (SYRUP Magazine, n.d.). Rum is spirit made from sugar cane products such as molasses, sugarcane juice, or sugarcane syrup. The types of Rum are Light Rum, Gold Rum, Spiced Rum, Dark Rum, Flavored Rum, Over proof Rum, Premium Rum and White Rum(Nayak, 2015). Gin was first produced as a medicinal spirit, flavoured with the oil of juniper berries in Holland in the sixteenth century. While Vodka is a clear transparent drink like water which distillated from a fermented mash of grain. Tequila is an alcoholic spirit that is created through a process of distilling and fermenting from the sap of the blue agave plant. The drink originated around the town of Tequila, in Mexico where the blue agave plant grows plentiful due to the red volcanic soils found there (Board of Intermediate Education Andhra Pradesh, n.d.).
Skyy Vodka's advertisements from the pages and billboards so often feature provocative poses of women and hidden references to sex or women. Prostitution and selling whiskey was the biggest cause towards this trend. In the 19th century, as spirits continued growing popular in America, there was a connection between prostitution and selling whiskey. Prostitutes legally sold whiskey and earned significant commissions for their brothels (Giplin, 2015). In the 1950s at San Francisco's Bella Union, thirty “pretty waiter girls” worked in the upper and lower sections of the casino and encouraged men to buy liquor, while arousing them (Minnick, cited in The Coopered Tot, 2014). There is the social tendency to deem heavy drinking and the spirits industry often portray the drinking of distilled spirits as a masculine activity. People used to consume distilled spirits in a pub or club, either alone or in clubby groups. This is influenced by the agenda happened during the 19th century, drinking establishments were called saloons. Different types of alcoholic beverages were served in saloons. In American cities there were also numerous saloons, which allowed only male patrons to gather and were usually owned by one of the major breweries. Throughout the whole analysis on how beer, wine and distilled spirits has been advertised. In fact, countries around the world share the similar marketing strategy regardless of religion restrictions that being applied. For example, Japan has its own alcohol beverages such as sake (rice wine), Shochu (distilled spirits), Highball (whisky highball), Chubby (shochu highball) and Umeshu (plum wine) (japan-guide.com, n.d.). But the advertising and marketing of beer, wine and distilled spirits follow the similar marketing strategy with Malaysia and U.S.
As a conclusion, the history of alcohol and studies in the modern days have shown that problems caused by the consumption of alcoholic beverages is getting serious regardless of time and place. Given out with all these health and social issues caused by drinking alcohol, it looks like it is inconceivable that alcohol ought to be advertised and marketed but yet it was marketed vigorously. Other than that, marketing of alcohol is largely dependent on the category its in such as beer, wine and distilled spirits although each of the categories have faced different social and cultural pressure against drinking, but these seems not bothering them. The promotion and advertising of alcohol in each categories has improved overtime. Beer is the most consumed alcohol in the world. The marketing strategy of beer industry has evolved from health claiming, lifestyle oriented, “Back to basis” to responsible drinking along and advertise through different kinds of media. The comparison of marketing strategy for both Malaysia and U.S. are very similar although Malaysia has religious restrictions on alcohol advertising. Furthermore, the remaining alcohol categories, wine and distilled spirits have also proved that the advertising and marketing pattern is strongly influenced by the social and cultural aspects. But yet they are not being restricted by them either. Hence, for other controversial consumer products that are still wanting to advertise and increase their products' exposure to the publics, they should learn from the alcohol industry on how they market and advertise themselves along with social and cultural pressures against drinking and legal restrictions that has been applied to them.
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