First an update on Google Video and YouTube in response to a recent article on BlogMaverick – Ripping on Gootube…. Again. I would intend to agree with Mr. Cuban a fellow Dallasite, however I prefer to look on the brighter side from both a consumer’s point of view as well as from a marketing perspective. Perhaps the feedback that will be left on the various sites will provide constructive criticism that will lead to the generation of better media decisions. The instances of commercial skipping brought on by digital video recorders (DVRs) like TiVo have presented an issue for marketers trying to reach consumers. This has led to various ploys and redistribution of funds to combat the problem. Recently the Wall Street Journal gave Yum Brands Inc.’s KFC the TiVo Buster award with it’s inventive ad which effectively made tv goers not use the DVR skip feature to receive a free “Buffalo Snacker,” while other organizations shifted more dollars to strategic product placement. Now back to Commercial Culture.

– America’s Drink –

Personally I love to watch football, furthermore, I love to watch football live. I’ve recorded games, even allowed my DVR buffer to fill so I can zip through commercials, but there is still this notion that the events which impact ‘my team’ (Chicago Bears) have already happened and if I don’t see it live my well wishing added to the collective will for them to win will in some way be negated.Following is one of many Coor’s commercials that have typically been run during NFL football games this season.

With numerous studies being release touting the health benefits and subsequent increased demand for red wine; I wondered if the current advertising trends for alcoholic beverages during sporting events will be seeing a shift away from beer and towards wine.

A study conducted by Anheuser-Busch in 2004 indicates a 0.7% increase in beer consumption compared to a 3.4% increase in wine. In addition their report goes on to show that beer consumption is skewed toward the following demographics:

  • Male
  • Younger
  • Low to Moderate Educated
  • Blue Collar
  • Moderate Income Households

Now we compare these figures with who watches football. An NFL marketing report indicates the number one challenge for the NFL is to diversify their demographics to generate additional committed fans.

Scarborough Research confirms that NFL fans continue to be among the most loyal and intense of any sport. Approximately 43.4 percent of Americans are “loyal” football fans who are also “very or somewhat interested” in the NFL. In this group, 62 percent have had some form of college education, and over 30 percent generate household incomes of over $75,000. Over 32 percent of fans own NFL licensed apparel, significantly higher than any other sport. Despite this, the league continues to face challenges of expanding its core base.

Despite this strong support base, the NFL is currently experiencing additional challenges with the next generation of fan. Though holding steady at 45%,

The real challenge remains the next generation. Youth football participation has dropped nearly 58 percent over the past eight years.

So a brief comparison of beer drinkers and the typical NFL fan provides some interesting information. While most fans are male, they also tend to be more educated and have above average annual incomes. With the potential shortfall in attracting new fans, the core fan will also have a higher average age. All of these factors, save one (gender), seem to run contradictory of NFL beer marketing. But who is it that drinks wine?

Unfortunately for the wine industry, the typical US consumer is aging with the Baby Boomer generation who account for 30% of sales. Where 18-24 year olds account for less than 10% of consumption. In 2003, wine advertising during sports programming was approximately $3 million whereas beer was in excess of $600 million. Could the fall in youth participation in football lead to the eventual drop in beer advertising and a greater emphasis be placed on the baby boomer through the marketing of wine?

Granted the information and statistics provided above are relatively subjective and I’m sure a greater analysis has been conducted by the various industries to determine their marketing mix. Regardless the eventual result, no matter how you say it, telling your friends you’re going to climb in your chair, turn on the game and sip a tall glass of Cabernet just doesn’t sound as good as a ‘cracking open a cold one.’

Be sure to read the other articles in the series

Commercial Culture #1 – Pizza Hut $5 Deal
Commercial Culture #2 – GoDaddy.com

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