Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Advertising is alive & well


Who says advertising doesn't work?

Who thinks advertising cannot have the reach it once did in this age of media fragmentation?

And who was it that said brands need to hold conversations not just advertise?

Probably me if truth be told!


If you want to see the power of advertising in Australia take a look around you next time you go to a bar or pub.

Chances are you'll see plently of hip young things drinking cider.

It's easy to spot as it looks a lot like an orangey radioactive lager.

Two years ago nobody drank cider down under. Now it's everywhere.

Why?

Because the likes of Bulmers and Strongbow are advertising. A lot.

So next time so snot nosed social media punk tells you that advertising is dead pour them a glass of scrumpy and toast its health.

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Josh said...

also 5 seeds really hit that market hard. i thought cider looked more pale green?

8:25 am  
Blogger Zac Martin said...

I'm sure there's some kind of argument to be made here about the product being the reason people drink it as an alternative to beer, not it's advertising...

... but I agree with you. :]

7:19 pm  
Blogger Eaon Pritchard said...

one could also argue that the advertising comes after the fact - as a response to a fashion or trend in the culture thats come from the ground up.

7:34 pm  
Blogger Stan Lee said...

@Zac & @Eaon: Advertising created the demand/cool for a dowdy out of fashion product. Two years ago you would have struggled to buy cider in Australia, especially at a bar or on tap at a pub.

7:54 pm  
Blogger Dan Thornton said...

Not sure I'd agree that bars full of people drinking is necessarily a sign of a healthy climate for advertising...

How many of the bars were also doing special offers on cider at the same time?

And how many people actually picked up a pint of cider due to advertising, as opposed to the number that picked up a pint because they saw their mates drink it, or someone else was getting a round in?

Using my close family as an example - my partner honours her Swedish heritage with pear cider, my mother drinks wine, my father drinks beer.

Somehow I've ended up drinking pub-loads of beer over the years, despite having the same response to all three drinks. Was that due to lager advertising? Or was it the fact I kept going with lager because my dad and older mates drank it?

Hence why I switched to real beer in the U.S. becuase my more affluent, erudiate and alcoholic friends all drank proper beer.

Advertising seems to work as a potential catalyst for sampling, in the same vein as BOGOF etc. But whether or not it results in sustainable success seems to be more a result of the inherent characteristics of the product itself, and whether or not it spreads throughout your peer group.

I've never consciously remembered seeing an advert for sambuca, and yet I've spent 14 years drinking it as a ritual part of a night out with 3 completely seperate groups of friends...

5:24 am  
Anonymous ollie said...

Stan,

Having been brand manager for Strongbow 5 years ago I can tell you that advertising was only one part of the equation. Strongbow had almost 100% distribution on & off premise, so its biggest issue was an image problem.

Basically Strongbow needed to clearly differentiate itself and not copy RTD imagery (as it did in the 90s) or beer imagery (such as the Pool Cleaner ads in the early 00s). The image problem was further enhanced as the 2 buyers of major retailers had cider in different catergories- beer and RTDs.

An early comment had it right- cider was an alternative for guys who didn't like beer and for girls who didn't like fluoro sugar drinks- it just needed credibility so it could be drunk in public without the drinker being ridiculed (or claiming they picked up the taste for it during that OS trip to the UK).

And its taxed like wine so it's about double the profitability of beer - meaning it can pay for advertsising. So I'd argue that the credibility problem needed to be fixed, and that allowed an ad spend.

Happy to let you know the rest of the history if your interested.

4:47 pm  

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