In a country with1.4 billion population and alcoholic products earning
much to contribute to an approximate 25% to the state VAT revenues,
and liquor advertisement having been banned since the age of our
forefathers; it’s a fact that the Liquor industry in the country hasn’t
been falling ever short of money.
The Revenue of more than Rs.1,400 Billion is from just the top 10 liquor
consuming states. Liquor revenue is more than 4.5 times the revenue
from Tea and Coffee combined. I would fail to believe that all these sales
are happening without any advertising.
Surrogate Advertising is something we all have seen for liquor on
television commercials. Advertisements of products such as soda,
mineral water, music CDs with the same brand names of liquor brands for
marketing them is a trend. United Spirits with advertisements of
Kingfisher as a mega cricket team is an innovative addition to the
existing types of advertisements. They promote alcohol as an
acceptable non-banned product. However, I doubt if the customer could
be fooled that easily. They would know the significance of the brands.
The premium liquor trading brand, Moet Hennessy has its brand
managers preparing themselves for New Year’s Eve and Valentine’s.
Most of their advertisements being centered around the same. The month
of December and February account for the majority of sales of the premium
liquor brand. They have models posting pictures of their parties with
these bottles on their social media sites. I believe it is a win-win situation
for both. The models get the drinks and the liquor traders their sales.
Also, who can miss the subtle art of advertising liquor done in the ‘Koffee
with Karan’ show where the gift hamper has champagne of Moet &
Often, we notice the retail stores having posters of liquor brands. The
posters are colorful and attractive to draw attention to those purchasing
them. The customer may or may not purchase it soon after seeing those
posters. However, the customer does have the brand and the image of the poster registered in his mind. Also, the chances of a customer to not notice the posters is minimum as most customers are idle during the bill generation time in the store.
A Company has a vineyard in Nashik where they encourage their customer’s fora tour around the vineyard and educate them with the liquor making process. Sula has made its vineyard look lucrative and has made it conducive for its customers to click pictures of themselves. These customers are encouraged to post their pictures on various social media sites. It is a smart move as the restrictions on advertising of the liquor products are on the manufacturer and the trader and not on the customers. Thus, the customers are now marketing the product for the traders. Also, people prefer buying a product when their peers have used them and vouch for their quality. The mouth of word is a very powerful tool.
I distinctly remember once seeing Roger Federer in the GQ magazine
holding a champagne bottle of Moet & Hennessy. No details were given
of Moet & Hennessy, but the tennis player was appreciated for his work
on that page. However, details of the brand were clearly enlisted in its
adjoining page. I believe the advertisement was for impact creation and
for not breaching any laws of a celebrity advertising a banned product.
Also, I am sure the ladies appreciate the ladies’ nights and the noon get-
together where they get a few drinks complimentary. It is a good way
of launching a new product or extensively promoting an existing product.
Women are bound to notice the taste and the subtle flavor of the drink.
They are not paying for the drink on that day, but they might go for a
purchase of the drink in the near future.
Grape Stomping is also a fun recreation event. It is a good feeling when the
grapes are being crushed by you and your friends in a fancy manner
with your feet. York vineyards and testing room, Vallone vineyards and
Soma vineyards in India have the grape stomping event on different
occasions. The grape stompers are provided with platforms to socialize
and build networks and are also served with food and drinks after the event. This is also an effective way of advertising for their products and
building the trust of their customers.
All bars and restaurants, from a small Dhaba to a five-star hotel display
the popular brands of liquor in their menu cards. Thus, there is
an advertisement done but only to target customers of the eligible age
group. Also, there are upcoming brands with liquor-infused ice-creams
and even packed savories. If not advertised in mass media, social
media will take over considering the rising liquor consumption amongst
the young Indians.
Thus, despite advertising being banned for liquor, there are
advertisements being done in a subtle manner. Advertisements where
the target audience is first identified and then targeted in a strategic
manner to earn massive revenues and contribute significantly to the
taxes and indeed the growth of the nation.