A study published by The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI) from Iowa State University reveals that the amount of money that beer companies spend on advertising strongly predicts the number of teenagers who have heard of, preferred, and tried different brands of beer. 99% of middle and high school students surveyed reported hearing of specific beer brands, such as Bud Light and Budweiser. Almost half of those students surveyed also revealed that they had used either, or both of those beer brands. Not surprisingly, Budweiser and Bud Light are some of the top spenders in advertising.

How Beer Ads Influence Drinking Behavior

Advertisers use techniques focusing on cognitive, or mental, strategies that prove effective for selling their products. The use of animation, special effects, and humor is typical and appeals most often to young adults. Although this study and others cannot prove that advertisers are targeting young adults, the use of tricks to grab their attention is obvious. It is also apparent that young adults are one of the largest consumers of media, and are therefore exposed to more amounts of advertising than other populations.

The Study

The NCBI study surveyed 1,588 middle and high school students, and more than half of them reported having drunk at least one alcoholic beverage in the previous year. Almost one-third of the students reported having one or more drinks every month. Furthermore, 43% of students engaged in heavy or binge drinking. The study asked students to name their two favorite television commercials. Alcohol-related advertisements ranked the highest at 32%, followed by soda commercials with 31%, fashion with 19%, automotive with 14%, and sports with 9%. One-quarter of the students even reported owning alcohol-related products.

Looking for Help?

Protecting teenagers and young adults from media is an impossible task nowadays with its pervasiveness on television, social media, and in print on billboards, in malls, or in magazines. However, education about alcohol, its use, and the many possible consequences may aid in preventing them from using it in the first place. At Fort Behavioral Health, we offer drug and alcohol education, as well as a safe and nurturing space to explore recovery and relapse prevention. We even offer female-only programs for adolescents struggling with substance abuse disorders. If you or someone you know is struggling with an addiction to drugs or alcohol, call us today at 844.332.1807.


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