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Promotion of Alcohol Brands through Social Media

by Rennette Fortune, Lyndsay Farrell, Vanessa Volcy

PURPOSE AND OBJECTIVES

The purpose of this project is to understand the ways that people promote their alcohol brand loyalty through social media. We conducted interviews with people that currently use social media to promote their alcohol brands. This knowledge will help understand the ways in which people promote their brand of alcohol.

The Objectives that were explored during the research were:

  • To determine the ways that alcohol brand loyalty is expressed via social networking sites.
  • To determine why people choose to express alcohol brand loyalty through social media.
  • To determine the effects of alcohol brand loyalty on social media friends.

METHODOLOGY

The method used to conduct the research was one-on-one interviews. We conducted three interviews with people currently using social media to promote their alcohol brand loyalty. The first interviewee is Mishelle; her brand loyalty is to Bacardi and Captain Morgan. The second interviewee is Frantz; his alcohol loyalty is to Patron. The third interviewee is Tony and his alcohol brand loyalty is with Budweiser. The interview with Mischelle was conducted on June 16, 2009 at 5:29p.m. and lasted approximately 1 minute and 20 seconds. The interview was done face-to-face and recorded using voice notes on Blackberry phone and then converted from AMR file to MP3 file. The second interview with Frantz was conducted on June 16, 2009 at 9:43a.m. and lasted approximately 1 minute 43 seconds and was recorded using Blackberry voice notes and then converted the file to an MP3 file. The third interview with Tony was conducted on June 15, 2009 at 10p.m. and lasted approximately 2 minutes. All three interviews were converted to MP3 files and uploaded to our individual blogs.

RESULTS

People that use social media choose to promote their brand of alcohol through each Facebook, MySpace and YouTube in specific ways. Loyalty is shown through passing drinks to each friend on a daily basis. On MySpace a chosen method is to use the specific brand of alcohol as the background for the entire personal page on the social media site.

  • “On my Facebook there is an application where you can pass drinks to different people and friends, I just pass Patron to everyone of my friends.” —Frantz
  • “I am a MySpace user, I have Budweiser logo background, couple of banners around the corners and stuff, and then I have several pictures of me and my friends, you know consuming alcoholic beverage Budweiser.”—Tony
  • [On why she promotes her favorite brand]” because it tastes good.”—Mishelle
  • “I pass my favorite drinks to my Facebook and MySpace friends.”—Mishelle

YouTube serves as a way to continue brand loyalty by watching and commenting on commercials produced for specific brands of alcohol. Promoting an alcohol brand is a way in which people stay in contact with friends.  Users of Facebook believe passing drinks to friend’s shows that they are fun and lively people. It portrays them as being very sociable. They are seen as the influencers of their group of friends. Promoting alcohol brands on their Facebook and MySpace leads the users to being an influence. It’s believed that social media is the great method for spreading a message, so many feels showing off their favorite drink on the social networking sites makes it easy to portray that part of their life.

  • “[My social site says about me] that I am sociable and lively person.”—Frantz
  • “[On MySpace it says Budweiser’s] contributes greatly to a social life.”—Tony
  • “….it’s held up as a legitimate source of spreading a message.”—Tony

Being on a social networking site such as MySpace, Facebook or YouTube users are offered an abundance of options for reasons they are a part of the site.  But users are always there for friends, new ones and old ones.  Because all of their friends are there it is a great place to extend interests and hobbies to them and get them interested.  Because there are so many ways to do this each student can be equally creative and show off their favorite brands and get others involved.  You can send drinks using “Happy Hour” and “Passing Drinks” and invite friends to events, just by pressing a few keys.  When users do this they are introducing friends to their brands and the cool tools that they can use to either promote their friends brands or start promoting something they’re in to.

  • “I like to share the simple pleasures in life.”—Tony
  • Me and my buddies typically we pass on invitations and we also receive them from sponsored parties and other events around the area, concerts and that…. we use this method as a way of communicating with each other.”—Tony
  • “ [Promoting through] Facebook just by putting up pictures and sending drinks, YouTube, I watch commercials and songs that have Patron mentioned in it.—Frantz

CONCLUSION

Based on the interviews, we have concluded that individuals who express brand loyalty via social networking sites are more likely to use MySpace and Facebook applications to pass their favorite drinks to their peers and also post their favorite drinks as their profile backgrounds. We have also concluded that people who favor a particular brand of alcohol are more likely to encourage brand loyalty among their peers and family via social networking sites. Users can do this by informing friends of new sponsored events and show off lifestyles associated with their brands by sending invitations and posting pictures of them using and enjoying their brand.

APPENDICES

Interview Transcript #1

Interviewer: Rennette Fortune

Participant: Frantz, 23

Interviewer Question 1: What alcohol brand do you show loyalty to through social media?

Frantz: Patron, especially when I go out with my friends.

Interviewer Question 2: How do you show loyalty on your MySpace? Facebook? YouTube?

Frantz: On my Facebook, there is an application where you can pass drinks to different people and friends; I just pass Patron to every one of my friends.

Interviewer Question 3: Why do you choose to promote that brand through MySpace? Facebook? YouTube?

Frantz: I heard about it through a song, tried it, it goes down smooth, I like it and that’s all to it.

Interviewer Question 4: Why do you express your loyalty in that way?

Frantz: That’s the only thing I know, we drinkers, when we go out so that just the only way I know how to do it is to pass drinks

Interviewer Question 5: What do you think that says about you?

Frantz: That I am sociable, lively person.

Interviewer Question 6: Do you believe this brand of alcohol is specifically targeted to your peers?

Frantz: Yeah, because they have a lot of songs that mentions Patron.

Interviewer Question 7: Do you influence your friends and associates to drink your favorite brand of alcohol?

Frantz: That depends on the situation, if it’s their birthday or special occasion, yeah.

Interviewer Question 8: How do you specifically promote your brand to your friends via Facebook? MySpace?

Frantz: I don’t have a MySpace, Facebook just by putting up pictures and sending drinks, YouTube, I watch commercials and songs that have Patron mentioned in it.

Interviewer: Would you like to add anything?

Frantz: Would you like me to send you a drink?

End of Interview. 1 minute 44 seconds.

Interview Transcript #2

Interviewer Question 1: What alcohol brands do you show loyalty to through social media?

Mishelle: Bicardi and Captain Morgan

Interviewer Question 2: Why do you choose to promote that brand through MySpace,

Facebook, and YouTube?

Mishelle: Because it tastes good.

Interviewer Question 3: How do you show loyalty on your Facebook page and MySpace page?

Mishelle: Happy hour and stuff like that.

Interviewer Question 4: Why do you express your loyalty in those ways?

Mishelle: It’s entertaining and something to do between classes.

Interviewer Question 5: What do you think that says about you?

Mishelle: Nothing.

Interviewer Question 6: Do you believe your brand of alcohol is targeted specifically toward your peers?

Mishelle: I guess, I never really thought about it that way.

Interviewer Question 7: Have you influenced your friends or associates to drink your favorite brand either through happy hour and things like that?

Mishelle: Yeah I guess.

Interviewer Question 8: How do you specifically promote your brand to your friends via Facebook or MySpace?

Mishelle: I pass my favorite drinks to my Facebook and MySpace friends.

End of Interview. 1 minute 20 seconds

Interview Transcript #3

Interviewer: Lyndsay Farrell

Participant: Tony

Interviewer: My name is Lyndsay Farrell, I am interviewing Tony MacFarland in our research of alcohol brand loyalty through social media. Its June 15, 2009 and its 10 PM, okay Tony.

Interviewer Question 1:What alcoholic or non-alcoholic brand do you show loyalty to through social media?

Tony: Uh…I prefer Budweiser

Interviewer Question 2: How do you show loyalty on your MySpace? Facebook? Or YouTube?

Tony: Well I am a MySpace user, I have the Budweiser logo background, couple of banners around the corners and stuff, and then I have several pictures of me and my friends, you know consuming alcoholic beverage of Budweiser

Interviewer Question 3: Why do you choose to promote that brand through MySpace Facebook , or YouTube?

Tony: Uh… It has superior flavor of all the rest of the beer. I like to consider myself a beer connoisseur. But bud is always the best in my opinion.

Interviewer Question 4: Why do you express your loyalty in that way?

Tony: Uh…I’m big into the MySpace and it’s held up as a legitimate source of spreading a message

Interviewer Question 5: What do you think that says about you?

Tony: Uh.. Probably sounds like a drunk. But it contributes greatly to a social lifestyle.

Interviewer Question 6: do you believe this brand of alcohol is specifically targeted to your peers?

Tony: Uh… In my personal opinion, I believe that it’s targeted to anyone of age.

Interviewer Question 7:Do you influence your friends and associates to drink your favorite brand of alcohol?

Tony: Uh…call me a bad influence if you’d like but yes I do. I like to share the simple pleasures in life

Interviewer Question 8: how do you specifically promote your brand to your friends via MySpace or Facebook?

Tony: uh… Me and my buddies typically we pass on invitations and we also receive them for sponsored parties and other events around the area, concerts and that. Uh…we use this method as a way of communicating with each other plan our own little get togethers, which always include a keg or equal amounts of beer, Budweiser of course

Interviewer: And that’s the conclusion of our interview

Interview: 1 minute and 50 seconds

Discussion Guide

Questions:

  1. What alcoholic alcohol, non-alcohol brand do you show loyalty to through social media?
  2. How do you show loyalty on your MySpace? Facebook? YouTube?
  3. Why do you choose to promote that brand through MySpace?

Facebook? YouTube?

  1. Why do you express your loyalty in that way?
  2. What do you think that says about you?
  3. Do you believe this brand of alcohol is specifically targeted to your peers?
  4. Do you influence your friends and associates to drink your favorite brand of alcohol?
  5. How do you specifically promote your brand to your friends via

Facebook? MySpace?

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http://www.box.net/shared/a205717dpr

May 27, 2009
By: Lyndsay Farrall, Rennette Fortune, and Vanessa Volcy
Ethnographic Assignment

Purpose

Many consumers are very loyal to particular brands of products. We conducted this research in order to examine the brand loyalty of people between the ages of 21-25, with their favorite alcoholic products that they display through social media sites.

Methodology

This was an ethnographic study that was conducted on May 25, 2008 through May 26, 2008.  The participants were college students ranging from the ages of 21 to 24.  The study examined students’ behavior when engaging with alcoholic products and their display of loyalty to particular brands through social media sites such as MySpace, Face book, and YouTube.  Six participants were observed while engaging in social media and the results were recorded along with a short interview to get a brief understanding of brands the participants were loyal to and what internet activities they participated in that involved or showed support for their favorite alcohol.

Results

The results of the field observations produced three findings.  We have concluded that when people between the ages of 21-24 find a favorable brand of alcohol, they remain loyal to the brand.  The study participants showed their support for their favorite brand through social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace and YouTube via profile wall papers, banners, bumper stickers, web links. The participants  also recommended their favorite brands to friends and family by sending their favorite drinks using Facebook and MySpace applications (i.e. “buy a round” and “happy hour”.   One of the participants viewed commercials featuring their favorite alcoholic beverage on YouTube.

Conclusion

Based on the findings, we have concluded that individuals that favor a particular brand of alcohol are more likely to express their loyalty to that brand using social networking sites such as MySpace, Face book, and YouTube. We have also concluded that people who favor a particular brand of alcohol are more likely to encourage brand loyalty among their peers and family. Followers of the brand research information about their alcohol and share recipes and valid information with other friends on their social network site, thus encouraging brand loyalty among friends.