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Integrated Advertising: America Alcohol Industry Case Research Paper

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Updated: Aug 7th, 2019


Integrated Advertising refers to the promotion of a certain product using a variety of media. Since the inception of Internet and the subsequent generational change, there has been tremendous change in the manner in which companies place their advertisements. The use of mobile advertising is quite popular with studies showing that it will be the most preferred by 2016.

Television advertising is still quite popular though it is largely driven by prime times and major programs. This transformation is across the board. However, a look at alcohol advertising paints an even more interesting picture. This paper looks at the nature of alcohol advertising integration, its effectiveness, and the influence it has on the general populace (Mims, unpaged).

Nature of Advertising

Alcohol advertising is diverse in nature. Companies spend so much money to create awareness of alcohol. Most of this advertising is on broadcast media. This includes radio, television, and other news channel. In these broadcast media, maximum attention is directed towards particular prime times and certain programs. In America particularly, most of alcohol advertisements (over 90%) appear in sports programs.

This is significant as it targets specific audiences. In Canada, for example, alcohol advertising features prominently when the popular game of hockey is underway. While majority of Canadians watch hockey games on television, a significant number attend live games.

In these arenas, alcohol is massively advertised and estimations show that for every ten Canadians that watch these games, half drink alcohol related content while at it. In America, American soccer is a popular pastime. This is what culminates into super bowl Sundays. It is common knowledge that during these Sundays, advertisers pay a lot of money to place their adverts.

A check at these adverts indicates that majority of them are automobile related. Interestingly, the second largest category is alcohol ads. Hence, sports programming is a popular way to advertise alcohol in America. Pundits indicate that it accounts to over 90% of the total alcohol advertisements (Mims, unpaged).

The second most popular programming that attracts alcohol advertising is prime time television. For example when broadcasting news, when analyzing hot political topics, or when a certain popular show is been broadcast in television. All these are times when alcohol advertising is broadcast. However, it is important to note that certain laws govern prime time adverting of alcohol.

For example, in United States certain laws indicate that when advertising alcohol, 70% of the audience should be of above alcohol drinking age. Additionally, the message should explicitly expose the dangers of consuming alcohol. The laws are similar in Canada with special interest in letting the public know the danger of using alcoholic contents. The laws are also aimed at protecting young people who the advertisers deliberately target.

Alcohol advertisers advertise mostly on weekends. This is not by accident but design. During weekends, most young people are likely to engage in leisure activities, which are synonymous to drinking alcohol related products.

This forms a very influential platform for advertisers. Research indicates that over 90% of alcohol is consumed on weekends. This rubber-stamps the strategic move to advertise on weekends (Ulrich and Song, 296).

Influence on General Populace

Over the years, research has indicated a general direct effect of alcohol advertisements to consumption. However, there is no direct relationship between increased alcohol consumption and advertising. The manner in which companies advertise, as noted above, indicate that the greatest target audience is the youth.

While it is logical to conclude that advertisements on weekends may result in a specific target audience of young people, it is risky too. This is because most underage people are also free on weekends. Laws in both Canada and USA prohibit this. However, advertisers continue to do it albeit expertly avoiding these legal pitfalls (Mims, unpaged).

Alcohol advertisements do not necessarily lead to higher consumption. Studies indicate that alcohol advertisements lead to brand loyalty and increase the market share of alcohol companies. It is crucial to note that these advertisements have the effect of bringing new alcohol consuming people on board (Ulrich and Song, 297).

The most affected people are the youth. The advertising channels and the nature of advertising adopted by alcohol companies have the direct influence on youthful audience.

The advertisers associate alcohol consumption to class and a high status in society. It is also common for alcohol to be associated to success. This is the reason they advertise on popular games. Hence, youthful audiences are carried away and are easily influenced by these adverts (Grube, unpaged).

In addition to the above analysis, it is crucial to analyze the main advertising channels and the manner in which they are changing in the face of globalization and internet. Mobile advertising and internet related advertising is quickly gaining ground. Studies indicate that by 2016, mobile and internet advertising will surpass all traditional advertising channels combined.

These traditional channels include radio, television, print-media, and personal marketing. Hence, companies are shifting towards social media sites such as Face book, Twitter, Instagram and MySpace to advertise alcohol (Mims, unpaged).

The flipside to these advertisements is the potential of reaching unintended audiences. There are no legal structures in America to govern the impact of these ads to audiences of lesser ages strictly. However, it is simple and relatively cheap to advertise on these channels (Grube, unpaged).

Effectiveness of Advertising

Alcohol advertising is quite popular the world over. Alcohol selling companies stake in millions in profits. As noted earlier, there is not statistically proven correlation between alcohol consumption and advertising. However, these companies continually increase their market share and promote brand loyalty. The advertisements mostly affect the youth.

The currently trending internet and mobile advertising affects the youth most with over 90% of the youth directly exposed to raw adverts on alcohol. This is the same case with the nature of advertising adopted by these companies on other channels such as print media, radio, and television advertising.

Estimates indicate that close to 90% of youthful audiences are exposed to televised alcohol advertising. In the year 2010 for example, light television viewers were exposed to over 400 alcohol advertisements annually. Heavy television viewers at the same time were exposed to over 800 television ads around the same time (Grube, unpaged).

Television advertisements are supposed to reach certain legally permitted audiences. This excludes children below the age of majority, which is 21, in America. However, this is not usually the case. With the increased internet usage, children below this age are continually been exposed to such ads. The USA and Canadian legal fraternity is grappling with ways to try to curb this by proposing laws that govern alcohol advertising.

However, not much has been achieved since it is not possible to determine the age of a person who subscribes to social media sites or sites that are popular with such adverts.

These sites include sports promotion sites. Additionally, while companies may try to limit advertisements to sports programming, the audiences that watch these sports are mixed in terms of age. Families attend them, which constitutes young children who are exposed (Ulrich and Song, 298).

The above analysis indicates that the effectiveness of alcohol advertising is a critical area of discussion. There is no any right way to justify the wrong audiences who are exposed. The big question that many pundits ask is whether this scenario is by design or default. A critical analysis indicates that this is all by design. Alcohol companies are normally desperate to consolidate their market.

They are also desperate to ensure loyalty to their brands. The best to do this is to expose youthful audiences to the coolness associated with alcohol consumption. This sticks in their heads and they grow knowing that alcohol is good. There is no direct way of admitting this. However, America’s legal system requires that alcohol advertisements be captioned with the danger of consuming too much.

This may have the mitigating effect of discouraging alcohol consumption albeit at a minimal percentage. In conclusion, alcohol advertisements have both positive and negative effects. However, while positive effects can be readily quantified, the negative ones have to be carefully deduced from the effect it has on society. In America, at least 60% of people consume alcohol related content (Ulrich and Song, 297).

Textual and Image Advertising Analysis

Jim Fowles

Fowles says that an advert has appeals from the following dimensions. That is sex, affiliation, dominance, autonomy among others. An effective ad appeals to the person reading the advert from each dimension.

In the American culture, for example, everyone reveres winning and winners. Kids learn from their parents how to win in life and among peers. Hence, an ad that appeals to this characteristic is a direct influence to a majority of these people (Ulrich and Song, 297).

In the American and almost every culture in the world, men must have a certain appeal that borders on dominance to win the hearts of women. Advertisers use this fact and Fowles is an advocate. He is capable of protection of the family and his woman. He also stands out among his peers.

This means that he is the man every woman would go for. Therefore, an advert should have a direct psychological connection with majority of women. This does not mean they will use alcohol. However, it meets the whole intention of advertising, which is attention.

The other factor that Fowles uses to judge a good advert is autonomy. This stands out quite well in many alcohol adverts. However, an ad’s influence should cut across the board. It should not influence the targeted audience only.

This is the true nature of advertising. Although the target may be a certain group, an advert should strive to influence a large number of people. This is because in marketing the larger the pool the greater the likelihood of making a sale.

Courtland Bovee

While Jim Fowles analyzes the use of image in advertising, Courtland Bovee analyzes the use of text. The textual components of an advert should meet and exceed the expectations of the target group. The first textual component is the heading/headlines and subheadings. Textual advertisements are appealing to people who take time to read them. In the above case, most of the people are not patient.

This group includes teenagers, men and people who are starting to make it in life. Hence, psychologically, they do not want things that might appear as disturbances (Ulrich and Song, 296). In using textual ads, Bovee offers some dos and don’ts. For example, it is suicidal to use commonly used phrases or clichés.

This dilutes the message of an advert. He advises that the text be bold enough to meet the eyes of the reader. He also says it is important to use short and easy-to-remember phrases. He refers to them as catchy and appealing to the eye (Young, 50).


Integrated advertising is quite popular currently. Many organizations prefer it as it brings together different aspects of the product. From the analysis, it is evident that alcohol advertising is popular in USA. The perspectives by Jim Fowles and Courtland Bovee present an interesting look into the core nature of image and textual advertising and their appeals (Kotabe & Helsen, 12).

This paper brings out the aspect of integrated advertising quite well and vividly explains it using the case of alcohol advertising in USA. With a consumption rate of over 60%, alcohol is one of the advertised products in USA. Additionally, alcohol brings about the concept of integrated advertising quite well considering the flexible nature with which different media can be used as a tool for its advertisement.

Works Cited

Grube, Joel. 2012. Alcohol in the Media: Drinking Portrayals, Alcohol Advertising, and Alcohol Consumption among Youth. 2012.

Kotabe, Masaki and K. Helsen. Global Marketing Management, New York: John Wiley & Sons, 2004. Print.

Mims, Christopher. 2012. By 2016 In North America, Mobile Advertising could be bigger than Today’s Entire Online Ad Market. 2012. Web. <>.

Ulrich, Kaiser & Song Minjae. “Do Media Consumers Really Dislike Advertising? An Empirical Assessment of the Role of Advertising in Print Media Markets.” International Journal of Industrial Organization, 27.2 (2009): 292-301. Print.

Young, Charles. The Advertising Handbook: Ideas in Flight, Seattle: Wiley and Sons, 2005. Print.

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