Jump to content
Jambands.ca

Beer Marketing


kung
 Share

Recommended Posts

I'm hoping to pull this day's monotony out of a nose dive so here's something I've been tossing around. Seems like in regards to the Sleeman buyout of Unibroue there were some sharp thoughts from the board. Especially as summer ramps up (beer in general as an industry and especially microbrews are very product heavy in the winter and cash light likewise cash heavy and product light in the summer) all of the breweries really start to get ready for the beer wars. Tastings, promos, sponsorship of events, polling and advertising all get a boost. This is because they're all fighting for the biggest possible piece of the pie and perhaps more importantly they're fighting for placement both on the shelves and in the hearts and minds of consumers.

Almost hung up on a telemarketer the other night but when she mentioned she was doing a market research survey of beer drinkers I was like 'hell I'm almost two!'. From the questions you could tell, if you were into marketing, that their client (or one of them) was Interbrew S.A. based on the product lines in this case Labatt. It was odd to realize that despite seeing so many beer commercials I couldn't associate the commercials with the brand most times and it didn't influence my purchase process- I 'strongly disagreed' that I was likely to buy Labatt in the near future despite all their advertising. They actually started turning the survey into a type of 'push' advertising when this montone girl started describing commercials in detail which was hilarious since I was choking back a joint during the thing and it just kept going so I'm just trying not to laugh in her face.

Anyways do you think any of that stuff (ads, promos, featured products, shelf placement) effects what beer you'll buy? Do you notice which brands sponsor which events and patronize them as a result albeit unconsciously?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

for me pretty much not at all. the only commercials for canadian beer that i can think of are for labatt and canadian. i only buy labatt if all the other beer stores are closed (the brewery stays open later). and i never, ever buy canadian. it reminds me of drunkass guys in first year university.

i like to buy lots of different kinds of beer. in b.c. there were lots of microbrews that i got to like but i'm not so familiar with them here. you can still get big rock though, i like that.

although!! i have to admit that last summer i bought keith's more often b/c they gave you a big free beermug. but i drink keith's normally, too.

on another note, my sister just visited the anheuser-busch (sp?) brewery in missouri, and she said they still keep horses there as "tradition." weird eh!! and they have names like "bob" and "doug."

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I loathe the almost jingoistic "I Am Canadian" campaign, and most other beer advertising. Even the littler guys like Sleeman's piss me off with their "aw shucks" approach. In fact, I hate *all* advertising.

That said, there's no doubt that advertising affects the unconsious mind. While a commercial may not make me GO OUT and try a new product, I think it works in impulse situations. Like, can't decide what to buy... hey, there's that product I saw on TV. Of course, the advertising isn't really effective if I don't become a loyal customer but I still got suckered.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

D'ya think? Forgot to mention a couple of things as well- Labatt is not a Canadian beer per se- It's owned by Interbrew S.A. and as such is part of a far larger conglomerate. Also most people don't realize that the Beer Store is not a public asset like the L.C.B.O. in fact most people are shocked to hear that. It is owned by Molson, Labatt (Interbrew) and Sleeman. It borders pretty close on anti-trust violations or at least is accused of that- basically making it difficult through concentrated ownership for smaller independents to compete for placement.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

yeah.. umm, dont put beer in the microwave.. frozen or not. y'hear me kung? dont do it, dammit!

anyways, yeah, i dont watch tv at home, nor do i ever really listen to the radio, unless i forget to bring a cd player in the car. so, aside from billboards, buses, and other visual advertising you'd find on the street, i dont get much exposure to beer ads and such. however, living in london, it's really hard to escape Labatt's. especially living a fucking block away from the goddam brewery. but lemme tell ya, it smells really fucking nice. im getting off topic... regardless of the advertising i am exposed to now, i dont think i am all that much different from when i was growing up in the hammer, living under my parents roof, tv on all the time, radio in the car, tons of visual ads, and you know, going through the general motions of growing up and into a beer drinker. i've never really been affected by the ads for particular beers. in this case, i've always been one to try any and all types of beers.

towards the end of highschool when i had enough facial hair to not get id'ed at the beer store, my friends and i had a rule that throughout the summer we would try as many beers as possible, and keep a running tally in our heads as to what was good and what was shit, so, at the end of the summer, big labour day festivities would arrive, and we would stock up on the favourite beer of the summer. the beers reward was a weekend, alone, with us.

same goes now. im the guy staring at the beer wall while the line fills up, trying to figure out what the fuck i havent had yet, before i end up deciding on something like klb, or schooner, only to find out they're sold out, and then i'll just grab whatever the person with me wants.

anyone who's been to a restaurant with me knows the type of decision maker i am. im the worst. i'll close my menu and say i want such'n'such, and when the waiter/waitress comes over, i say something completely different, for no real reason. i am nuts.

also, to finish this off, my buddy Mike made a rather comprehensive list of all the beers that the beer store and liquor stores in our area carried, and he made it his mission last summer to get through at least one of all of them. unfortunately, he didnt take into account that you cant just buy one beer at the beer store, and it turned out being a really costly venture. but, he gave it the ole college try. out of over 200 different varieties, i think he got somewhere between 160 - 180. obviously, there were mixer packs in there, singles from the liquor stores, he sought out bars that had some on tap so he didnt have to buy a whole case... he'd knock off 8 or so different ones in a night. and, i think he excluded anything generic that everyones had... blue, keiths, canadian, etc.... anyhoo, he's been workin' off the beer gut since october. he's a little slower these days (on all accounts), and lighter in the pocket book, but i think it made him a better bowler. we're proud of him. GO $HAKEY!!

thats my long winded story.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This describes me to a tee:

im the guy staring at the beer wall while the line fills up, trying to figure out what the fuck i havent had yet, before i end up deciding on something like klb, or schooner, only to find out they're sold out, and then i'll just grab whatever the person with me wants.

Ever since I lived in the Maritimes and the selection let me tell you is totally fucking deplorable- so coming back to Upper Canada meant exactly what you're describing. And yes inevitably I will just take whatevers going i.e. schwilly and cheap.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am also a beer wall starer - and the quest to try one of everything was almost accomplished a couple of years ago in Guelph. We made good use of the built-in shelves by lining up the 160 or so bottled brands that we tried.

I think Ollie is on the right track answering your question about whether alcohol advertising is effective or not. It's overwhelmingly so, and in the list of attributes of these top selling brands I'd say taste is probably a distant third to overall popoularity, and association of the brand with our past-times (cue the theme song you know I'm referring to). Those who think Molson Canadian is swill are in the minority, whereas those who buy into the "good times" and "canadian" mentality of that name are a huge majority. And I'd like to think the fans of craft brews will one day make their case heard and we'll all stop buying into this shite but to do that we're going to need millions of dollars, guerilla marketing experts, serious distribution power and...did I say this already...millions of dollars for marketing and advertising?

Over and above the conventional TV campaigns that Molson, Labatt's et al have undertaken over the last half-century, there's all their other word-of-mouth initiatives that have made them household names. I can think of a few right now: when beer.com was launched there were promotional reps touting the coolness of an email address at beer.com. I remember being hit on by an undercover beer rep from Molson (who tipped me off when said rep asked the bartender for "two Molsons please". The adding of a national holiday?

I don't know where it will all go, I mean as long as we remain a drinking culture I don't think anyone has to worry. After all, there's no laws or rules preventing the depiction of alcohol and a party in the same frame right? They always go hand-in-hand so you might as well show it.

Of course I'm still gunning for the strategic placement of the canadian bottle on the nightstand while Jimmy tries to figure out why he can't get it up. Or maybe a rape scene that cuts to a fadeout of a Bubba at a keg party. Or a drunk driver victim drinking Labatt Blue through a straw?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i guess this is a form of marketing, and relevant to the conversation here, as it pertains to warping the minds of young beer drinkers, in hopes they'll gain customers for life...

a girl i work with got a job with Labatt's as a Beer Delivery Girl... basically, young dudes log on to the website with their name and birthdate, and on their 19th birthday, the Labatt Blue Beer Delivery Girl shows up in a tight denim jumpsuit, unzipped halfway down her cleavage, to present to the young birthday boy a 6 pack of Blue, a rather lame Labatt's "ID Me, I Dare You" t-shirt, some beer nuts, beef jerky, and a birthday card. she also comes equipped with a digital camera, so the birthday boy can get a picture of himself with his special Beer Girl, and then have it emailed out to all his friends.

at first i was a little surprised that jobs like that existed, but then i thought, well, it is the beer industry afterall... they equip her with a labatt blue mini van to drive wherever she wants as long as she keeps the job, and they stock the mini van with 6'ers of Blue, jerky, nuts, t-shirts, etc... and apparently the pay is pretty good... i guess its not a bad gig for a blond with a sweet ass who doesnt mind being a piece of meat for a few minutes here and there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Kung, very interesting thread!

I'm not effected by much by beer marketing at this stage of my life because I consider myself an "educated" beer drinker. I try lots of beers, I read about beer, talk to knowledgeable people about beer, make my own beer, etc. So for me, I know what I like and I make the effort to seek it out. But it's like anything else, you need to make an effort to educate yourself. I equate it to music, something most people here can relate to. In the same way most people don't realize the mass-marketed beer they're drinking is swill, most people don't realize the mass-marketed music they're listening to is equally swill. But if you don't care enough to educate yourself, you'd continue buying J.Lo records or whatever the hell is on the radio 'cus you hear that and that's music, and you want to buy some music so you buy that. Same thing, if you're going to a party, and you want to bring some beer, and you go to the beer store and buy Molson or Labatt 'cus, hey, it's cheap and what else would you buy anyway?

I still remember the first time I tried an Ontario microbrewery beer back in the early 90s. A drummer I used to play with brought a case of Creemore to a rehearsal 'cus his dad knew someone who worked for them or something. It was a revelation! Having been pretty much exclusively a Molson Dry drinker, I didn't know beer could actually have FLAVOR like that. I still have a fondness for Creemore just 'cus of that moment.

Anyway, I guess the point is that you can either educate yourself and be willing to spend a little more money and time on the things that matter to you in life, or if you don't want to you can consume what is mass marketed. I'm not saying this necessarily as an indictment of anyone who drinks Molson or Labatt 'cus they don't know better, 'cus frankly it probably doesn't matter that much to them. For me, there are lots of things that I'll get 'cus it's cheaper and it might be something that is mass marketed but I don't care about it that much. Clothes are a good example, I'd never get like designer or tailored clothes 'cus I just don't care enough. I've got 5 pairs of jeans I bought at Zellers for 25 bucks each and that's fine for me. I also don't go to a lot of movies, but when I do it's more likely to be some Hollywood silliness like The Punisher than the latest hip indie film 'cus I'm probably looking for a cheap escape for a couple of hours with lots of explosions. Some people might look down on me for that, but I can look down on them 'cus they drink Blue and listen to Brittany. :P It's really a matter of priorities.

Peace,

Mr. M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I found that line rather funny, considering the kind of thread this is.

Yeh it seems a little odd, but think about this - people spend literally years and thousands on wine cellars, collecting wine from all over the place, stuff like that. Is beer really that different? I think there's a bias that beer is more "lowbrow" than wine, but I think it's got a lot of similarities, and to my mind it's also a more social drink. I love wine too, but there's nothing like enjoying a good pint with your buddies in a great tavern.

Speaking of great taverns, I just discovered a fairly new place last night in mid-town TO. It's called Blue Meanies, it's on Yonge just south of Eglinton (south of Canada Square Theatres and the TVO building, across from the Art Shoppe, just north of St. Louis Bar & Grill). It's a great little pub with tonne of Canadian micros on tap and it bottles: Unibroue, Big Rock, Mill Street, Steam Whistle, etc. AND best part for me - they have the best beer ever, Denison's weissbier_small.gif on tap! Ah sweet Denison's, how I love ye... and I can finally get it within a long walk/short bike ride from my house! ::

- M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Speaking of great taverns, I just discovered a fairly new place last night in mid-town TO. It's called Blue Meanies, it's on Yonge just south of Eglinton (south of Canada Square Theatres and the TVO building, across from the Art Shoppe, just north of St. Louis Bar & Grill). It's a great little pub with tonne of Canadian micros on tap and it bottles: Unibroue, Big Rock, Mill Street, Steam Whistle, etc. AND best part for me - they have the best beer ever, Denison's weissbier_small.gif on tap! Ah sweet Denison's, how I love ye... and I can finally get it within a long walk/short bike ride from my house! ::

- M.

Do they have a stage? :)

Aloha,

Brad

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd have to say that I've never been one for advertising, in general it makes me want to drink a different beer just so I can go against the grain. The commercials can be entertaining though.

In any case, I've been pretty staunch in avoiding the Beer Store and stocking up with microbrews from the LCBO or from the brewery itself. My latest favourite has been to get a keggy (12.5L) of McLean's Pale ale from F&M brewery in Guelph. It's about $45 for a 1½ cases of beer so it's not a bad deal, and tastes pretty freakin' good (from CO2 induced mini-keg).

Thems my 2 cents,

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do they have a stage? :)

Saddly no, way too small - maybe a single acoustic performer but even that would be a squeeze. Picture a small to medium sized coffee shop, or if you know Toronto pubs, picture a little bigger than Smokeless Joes (with the addition of a 5 or 6 table patio out back.) C'est What is still your best bet in TO for the microbrew/live music experience.

- M.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

 Share

×
×
  • Create New...