Social Media

Alcohol advertising on social media: a problem for companies?

Written by Julie Compagny

 

On Friday 12th, we had the pleasure to meet Pauline Roussel, social media manager for Champagne Krug. A great occasion to touch on the subject of the challenges of digital marketing for alcohol brands.

 

Loi Evin: a regulation to keep in mind

 

If you are working in advertising and your client is an alcohol company, keep in mind the two following words: Loi Evin. In effect since January 10th 1991, this law aims to regulate the tobacco and alcohol industries in France.

What does the law say?  

Not all communication supports are allowed for alcohol ads. For instance, cinema and television are totally forbidden. You will never hear an ad on the radio on Wednesday and between 5 p.m. and midnight in order to reduce the possibilities of children being exposed to the content. There is no objection against OOH, print and radio at other times of the day as long as a specific preventive health message appears on the visuals. Most importantly, the law allows a presentation of the beverage throughout the ad, but it cannot be by any way an incentive to consume.

Many agencies and companies are of the opinion that the law is not clear enough, making it difficult to know if the advertisement is compliant with it or not. Many brands have been penalized since 1991, such as Ricard, Heineken or Taittinger in 2013.

What about advertising on social media then?

Like any other companies, alcohol brands have to be present on social networks if they want to stay competitive. On the internet, companies are still subject to the EVIN law, which includes terms about digital communication. As an example, they are restricted to communicate only on websites on which 70% of the audience is over 18. However, alcohol brands are sometimes accused of using technologic innovations, such as targeting or data collection, to avoid the law. Is this the only way for alcohol brands to target their online audience? Not according to Juliette, who uses social media targeting in order to comply with the law. According to her, “alcohol brands have a lot to say, a lot to do while respecting the laws.”

 

Social media offers new strategy possibilities

 

Digital marketing has allowed engagement, which constitutes a huge advantage for alcohol brands. The idea is not to present a product anymore, but to share a concept; an idea of an environment which characterizes the brand. To do so, alcohol brands nowadays promote themselves on social media by making creative contents and by forming relevant partnerships. According to Pauline, “all brands need to have a specific way to communicate”  in order to differentiate themselves from other brands. It is getting harder to create a buzz as more competition enters the social media game. As a result, brands are getting very creative with the contents they come up with so that they can stand out from the crowd.

 

 

Here are some very interesting examples:

Kronenbourg created the “le big swim” campaign: the campaign objective was to have a well-known footballer swim across the English channel if the brand gets ten thousand followers on social media. The result was far more amazing– they got two and half million new followers and generated a huge buzz.

Virtual reality experience is a good approach that many high-end alcohol brands are going for, and it has great results. Prestigious brands want to communicate their spirit making history with their audience, the story of the brand, and the exclusivity behind it. It creates a closer relationship using innovative technology.

People love hashtags on social media, and so do brands. Jack Daniels came up with the hashtag “#Jacktravels” to encourage travellers to take pictures at their new destinations with a bottle of mini Jack Daniels in the picture. It is only natural that people like to share on social media where they travel to, and when given a theme and a sense of community, they are even more motivated.

To get some insights, watch our interview with Pauline Roussel: 

An article by Caroline Laherre, Laura Mengot, Enzo Rieucau, Cécile Viret, Yuqing Zhong, Anaëlle Thomas and Julie Compagny.

 


This article was written by students on the Grenoble École de Management Advanced Masters in Digital Business Strategy. The task was to create an article within 24 hours including varied media and to share it. The students were responsible for all aspects of writing, editing and uploading with no input from the lecturers. It has, therefore, not been checked by us before uploading. Thanks to everyone who took part by agreeing to be interviewed, answer questions and share the content.

James Barisic

Lecturer, Grenoble École de Management

About the author

Julie Compagny