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Working for the Weekend

Cocktail with ice

It’s Friday. So, naturally, a lot of us are thinking about how we are going to kick off the weekend. That’s when I realized that my trip to the liquor store looking for that perfect happy hour concoction will be more than a simple grab and go.

Trips to the liquor store used to be much quicker, back when we didn’t have 1,532,567 choices of vodkas, rums, wines and mixers. The adult beverage industry has exploded, and with that, so has the competition for the best bottle design, packaging and advertising. Consumers are exposed to thousands of ads a day – thousands. And on a day when you enter the liquor store, that number probably jumps another thousand. We all know advertising is coming in all shapes and sizes today, and bottle packaging and displays are no exception.

Consumer loyalty in the adult beverage industry is dwindling, and very few brands have the history, following and ability to capture those coveted loyalists, those viral marketers. A new marketing strategy has evolved for beverage; the taste doesn’t matter as much as it used to*. Now, it’s more about how to capture the attention of a vacillating consumer—the experimentalist—one who doesn’t have a particular favorite, and one who is willing to try all different kinds of varieties.

Packaging design has become one of the most important advertising tactics that beverage marketers are now taking advantage of. Sure, the videos, commercials, online ads and games, social media, billboards and magazine ads are all part of the integrated equation. But we’d be remiss if we didn’t give kudos to the creative teams who come up with the cool bottle shapes, funky names and brightly colored labels that are screaming for our attention. Well done, booze. Well done. Cheers to the weekend. 

*Those consumers who are drinking Grey Goose in fancy glasses with a touch of olive juice aren’t as susceptible to this experimental selection process. Nothing against them, but, they like their Grey Goose in fancy glasses with a touch of olive juice, and nothing different.

By Kelly Russell, Account Supervisor