Booze Brands Battle for Positioning

Alcoholic beverage companies, including the beer industry, are engaged in an ongoing war for brand supremacy and business with younger generations. This battle for positioning can be seen in the multiple back and forth television ads and other advertising mediums, including in the 2019 Super Bowl and beyond. Coors Light and Bud Light have taken multiple swings at one another for using or not using healthy ingredients in their beverages.

Beer brands are diving fully into today’s craze of being healthy. This generation is searching for products that continue to be full in flavor, but also who use more natural ingredients. Advertising that brings in major brands such as Game of Thrones to assist in creating these advertisements show the serious intentions of brands.

Bud Light using out of home advertising to continue their attack on Miller Lite’s use of corn syrup (image credit: WISN )
Miller Lite’s out of home advertising comparing their beer to Bud Light (image credit: )

Brand Positioning

Why has two major beer brands fighting for brand position become a major phenomenon in the industry? We as consumers have seen major brands go head to head like this before, but maybe not as out front and aggressive as this. The reason for this can be explained in today’s alcohol consumer climate. The current consumer is seeking healthy products to consume, including their beers. These major domestic brands are seeking ways to pivot as the beer for major events or social gatherings. Local craft brews have attracted the beer connoisseur as well as people looking for fun local experiences. If consumers want a more bold and flavorful beer, they’ll lean towards choosing their favorite local craft brews while gladly paying triple the price.

Breweries sized similar to New Belgium have also entered the out of home space to make an impact with their brand (image credit OOH Today )

According to a study done by Nielsen – Harris and the Brewer’s Association, the percentage of craft beer drinkers has gone up 5% in the last four years. This continuous increase in craft beer consumption creates a smaller consumer base for massive domestic brands to tap into. This also signifies that being the more reliable and healthy domestic beer can be all the difference in fighting for those consumers that are health conscious including the growing Millennial and Gen Z population that can now drink alcohol legally.

Challenges in the Marketplace

What are some of the advertising challenges facing booze brands? Alcoholic beverage brands are not just competing with one other, but also face competition from other types of drinks including waters, juices, and sodas. The cannabis market also threatens to steal other consumers who are looking for a new way to kick back and “relax”. Brands need to find new and unique ways to stand out from their direct and indirect competition, like Royal CBD does with their IGM marketing and product differentiation campaigns on all their hemp oils.

Regulations continue to be an issue for branding alcohol. Local governments are placing new ordinances and regulations on companies to stay away from public playgrounds, schools, and churches. Placement of alcoholic ads must be strategic and aware of their surroundings while trying to reach their targeted consumers.

Younger people are less responsive to certain products and messaging done by alcoholic beverage advertisers because they are not drinking as much as previous generations. The challenge for companies is to rework their thinking when it comes to their products. Can these companies adapt to the marketplace and create new brands and products that fit the needs of the new consumer?

Standing Out in the Crowd

So with the contested marketplace and a war to be the most health conscious brand raging, how can brands look to stand out? AllOver Media’s alcoholic beverage clients have used out of home media to drive traffic and attention where it may not be as easy to. Clients have used truckside programs to blanket broad markets and give an expansive reach to advertising along with our exclusive wallscape advertising to give a bold view of the brand in a designated area. These avenues of out of home advertising engage consumers both near and far and have stood out amongst normal traditional advertising.

Truckside and wallscapes can create brand excitement that can give the client an edge in showing that they showcase healthy and dynamic beverages. The placement of AllOver Media advertising targets the proper demographics and can follow around legal regulations in all 50 states. Check out some great examples here of how other clients harnessed the power of our advertising to stand out amongst the crowd and attract consumers to their products!