The Effect of Alcohol Advertisement on Adolescents

teen_boy_watching_tvDid you know that before 18 years of age, the average teenager has already spent 18,000+ hours in front of the TV.  Out of all of those hours, about half of them have been spent viewing advertisements.  From the beginning of youth, children are prone to many kinds of influences that seem correct to them.  The TV is a tool of education to the youth which watches it.  When a child views advertisements, shows, movies, etc. they think that this is how the world is suppose to be perceived.  Amongst these advertisements, the most prevalent themes include the glorification of alcohol.

When it comes to marketing of alcohol, each company knows exactly how to market their product.  These company have learned exactly how to appeal to their audience within their advertisements.  Some of these types of advertisements include: apparel, commercials, movies, social media, and people themselves.

Surely most people have seen the infamous Brew Thru t-shirts that every cool kid wears to school.  Why are these shirts so popular?  The reasoning for this is popularity is found in the purposeful creation of aesthetically pleasing merchandise to sell their product.  These t-shirts are walking billboards because they glorify alcohol and target a younger audience.

During  The Super Bowl every viewer gets a glimpse at “The most interesting man in the world.”  Dos Equis, a Mexican based alcohol company chooses to present its audience with a potential outcomes which alcohol can yield to its consumer.  This marketing technique plays on the insecurities of its viewers and their desire to become what they cannot achieve.

Through social media apps like Twitter, Snapchat, Facebook, and Instagram, alcohol companies have found a way to advertise to any type of audience.  On Snapchat, a user named DJ Khaled has millions of followers which view his story daily.  Many of his viewers do not know this but he is in fact sponsored by a alcohol company named Ciroc.  In every post Khaled will get drunk and show off his personal Ciroc bottle to his viewers giving them the impression that it is the best type of alcohol to drink.  Khaled also states that “Ciroc is the key to success” which implies that if you drink it, it will lead you to supposed, “success.”  Not only through Snapchat is alcohol spoken of, it also resides in many tweets on Twitter.  One popular account that dominates the alcohol scene on Twitter is TFM (Total Frat Move).  This account is a prime depiction to its viewers that in order to have a great time, alcohol must be involved.  A large percentage of TFM’s followers are underage for purchasing/consuming alcoholic beverages.  Following the account only encourages adolescents to participate in alcohol related events because of how TFM depicts them.

There is a direct correlation with all the advertising going on and adolescents.  These advertisements are encouraging a young generation’s perception on alcohol.  A prime example and proof of this problem is explained in this study, Effects of Alcohol Advertising Exposure on Drinking Among Youth.  Participants between the age of 15-26 were exposed to various kinds of alcohol advertisements.  In most cases it was finalized that alcohol advertising contributes to increased drinking among youth.

Another example of the effect of alcohol advertising among youth is addressed in this study, The Representation and Reception of Meaning in Alcohol Advertising and Young People’s Drinking.  This study concludes that alcohol advertisements can cause the youth to think about drinking and could possibly help contribute towards a start to drinking.

Here is my video about a potential solution to this problem:

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