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Alcohol Companies Use New Media to Lure Young Drinkers: Report
Date:5/19/2010

ol Marketing and Youth estimates that underage drinking accounts for 12 percent to 20 percent of the U.S. alcohol market.

Alcoholic beverage and other companies are now developing "advertising experiences", as opposed to the staid 30-second television spots of yesteryear, Chester said. And while young consumers are being enticed by attractive, entertaining, new marketing experiences, the alcohol companies are collecting data for future sales and product development purposes, he said.

"This is all about data collection for personalized, targeted marketing in order to better understand a user's attitude, their interests, their online behavior," Chester said. "Most of the data collection is covert. Users have no idea what's happening to the data."

And the new approach involves a "360-degree strategy," Montgomery said, meaning "a multiplicity of platforms throughout the day and night that includes online, offline, mobile, digital, music, video -- a whole range of different ways that consumers interact with new digital marketing."

Among examples cited in the report is beer maker Heineken's virtual city in which participants can live in apartments and get free storage and e-mail. The size of the "apartment" is determined by how much time the user spends on the site.

"On a single site, through a variety of applications, whether offering users free e-mail, access to music downloads, online videos or other applications, a wide array of techniques are deployed to ensure that the brand message is fully absorbed by the consumer," Chester said.

There are several major distribution platforms, the report authors stated, the first being social networking sites such as Facebook, where not only can companies promote their own brands, but they can enjoin consumers to promote their brands, too.

"There's a whole stealth world of marketing that occurs in social media spaces," Chester said. "It's a completely Wild
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