Child alcohol awareness 'higher than for some foods'Children as young as 10 are more familiar with some alcohol brands and adverts than those for popular foods and snacks, research shows.
Eight in 10 also recognised the Smirnoff vodka label as an alcohol product.
Good for them. It is an alcohol product. Is total ignorance now an official temperance goal? Would they be happier if kids thought it was lemonade?
Meanwhile, three-quarters of children associated the image of fictional characters Brad and Dan from a Fosters advert with alcohol, compared to 42% who recognised Cadbury's drumming gorilla was for a food product.
How interesting that they chose this Cadbury's advert as a comparison.
I remember this advert for two reasons. The first is that it got press coverage at the time—it was shown in 2007, but we'll come back to that—because it was considered brave to barely mention the product being advertised in a 90 second commercial. It swept the boards at various advertising awards ceremonies because its studied post-modernism appeals to the kind of cocaine-snorting posers who work in that industry. However...
The second reason I remember it is that, for the reasons given above, it was not very successful at actually shifting product. There was a massive chasm between the art-school pretensions of the back-slapping pseuds of the advertising industry and the commercial objectives of their clients.
In the last year, one of TV’s most talked-about advertisements has been the drumming gorilla. It won awards, it was a typical ‘water-cooler’ discussion point, and many people found it fun and off-beat (excuse the drumming pun!), even though the accompanying music was by Phil Collins.
The advertisers must have been happy with their awards and Cadbury’s must have been thrilled with the buzz. Or were they? Marketing Research company TNS have just issued a report – gratefully referenced by Private Eye in their ‘Ad Nauseam’ section – that shows that, during the period of the advertisement’s run up to July this year, Cadbury’s Dairy Milk actually lost ground to Galaxy (produced by rival Mars).
People remembered the advert because it was—albeit self-consciously—quirky, but they didn't remember what it was advertising because there is no connection between an ape playing along to Phil Collins and Dairy Milk chocolate. In the Foster's adverts, however, the two protagonists have constantly got a beer to hand, thereby reminding the public of what it is they're supposed to buy.
This is all rather significant if you're going to show kids stills from these two adverts and ask them what type of product is being sold. From the survey results...
An image of the characters Brad and Dan from a Fosters television advertisement was correctly associated with alcohol by three quarters (75%) of the children consulted. This was lower than the number correctly identifying Évian’s roller-skating babies advertisement as a being for a soft drink (83%), but much higher than the number who recognised screenshots from the Walkers Extra Crunchy advertisement (58%)...
Never heard of it.
...and the Cadbury drumming gorilla advertisement (42%) as being for foods.
What conclusion can any reasonable person draw from this other than that Evian and Foster's have made effective advertisements and Walkers and Cadbury's have not? Not only do Foster's make it clear that they are advertising a beer, they have made a series of different adverts using the same characters for a campaign that is still ongoing. Cadbury's, on the other hand, made one notoriously uninformative advert back in 2007 when the kids involved in this survey were 5 or 6 years old.
Does this comparison not have a touch of the apples and oranges about it? As I've said, I remember the Cadbury's advert and I knew it was for chocolate, but maybe—just maybe—I wouldn't have remembered the fucking thing if I had been five years old when it was last broadcast.
Mark Leyshon, from Alcohol Concern, said: "Research shows that children who are exposed to alcohol advertising and promotion are more likely to start to use alcohol, have positive expectations about alcohol, and to drink more if they are already using alcohol.
"It's clear that more effective controls are needed."
Shut up and give us our money back.