A long, long, long time ago I worked in advertising.
It was the alcohol brands that were the most interested in doing something in this new-fangled digital space. So, we willingly obliged.
We devised a virtual pub crawl game that showcased venues across Australia that proudly waved the, um, flag of the beverage we were promoting.
The copywriter did a brilliant job that was witty, cunning and encapsulated the essence of the brand and, indeed, the pub crawl game. Then, it was reviewed by legal.
There was a problem. At no point in time, could the game be seen to be encouraging drinking alcohol for entertainment nor, to excess. Clearly the legal team had forgotten their university days but, I digress.
And, while that does remain some of the legal restraints around alcohol advertising, it seems that now other tactics can be used to encourage drinking and linking alcohol to fun.
How else can I explain the new Heineken Ignite beer bottles. They are fitted with LED lights and motion/sound sensors. They flash when your toast, they sparkle when you drink and, they begin to flash-dance vividly when the DJ pumps up the music. There is a clear correlation between drinking beer and entertainment. We’ve come a long way in technology and marketing since the crazy days of the 1990s.
As it was so eloquently put by Homer J. Simpson, “To alcohol! The cause of, and solution to, most of life’s problems.”