Liquor-Branded Advertising: Summary of Findings

July 2002 Press Conference

Global Strategy Group
1825 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Suite 5W
Washington, DC 20009
202.265.4676 voice
202.265.4619 fax

 

Teen Television Viewing After 9 PM

 

This summary highlights the major findings of a census-balanced, nationally representative telephone study conducted in mid-May 2002 among 750 American teens 12- to 18-years-old.  The CSPI Teen Television Viewing Study was conducted by Global Strategy Group.[1] The margin of error for the study is +/- 3.5%.

 

This poll presents a portrait of American youths’ television viewing habits after 9 p.m. on school nights (Sunday through Thursday) and their awareness of advertising or commercials that air at that time.  The study provides an estimate of how many teenagers[2] watch television after 9 p.m. and explores teens' recall of commercials they see at that time.  The survey specifically addresses teens’ recall of advertising for new product lines of ready-to-drink, malt-based alcoholic beverages (better known as "alcopops") that carry the names of liquor brands or products.

 

The major conclusions of the study include:

  1. Most teens (an estimated 22 million in the United States) watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights during the week.  Nearly 17 million of those youths who watch TV after 9 p.m. lack adult supervision at least some of the time.

  2. Teens say they don't pay much attention to commercials, but their high un-aided product and brand recall -- including for alcoholic beverages -- indicates that advertisers saturate this audience with commercial messages.

  3. Teens report high awareness of ads for the new liquor-branded "alcopops," which most youths think are liquor, not beer or malt-based beverages.


 

Teen Television Viewing Survey – Detailed Findings

 

1.  Most teens (an estimated 22 million in the United States) watch television after 9 p.m.[3] on school nights during the week.  Nearly 17 million of those youths who watch TV after 9 p.m. lack adult supervision at least some of the time.

  • More than 3 in 4 12- to 18-year-olds (77%) say they watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights, defined as Sunday through Thursday night.  Watching television after 9 p.m. is popular among both teenage boys (79%) and girls (76%).  Although viewing after 9 p.m. is higher among teens 14-years-old and older (82%), more than 2 in 3 teens ages 12 and 13 (67%) watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights.

  • The estimated number of 12- to 18-year-olds watching television after 9 p.m. on school nights is 21.9 million, including 5.5 million children ages 12-13, 6.6 million ages 14-15 and 9.8 million ages 16-18.

  • More than 3 in 5 12- to 18-year-olds (62%) say they do not have to follow any rules about watching television and only 1 in 4 (27%) say they are not supposed to watch television after a certain time on school nights.   Among those with rules, nearly 2 in 3 (63%) say they sometimes do not obey them.

  • More than 3 in 5 teens ages 12 to 18 (62%) have a television in their bedroom, including 59% who are 12 or 13 years old. Boys (66%) were more likely than girls (58%) to have a TV in their bedroom.

  • Poll results indicate that a lack of rules about watching television after 9 p.m. on school nights and the presence of televisions in teens' bedrooms contribute to the high incidence of television viewing after 9 pm.

1a.  Alcohol advertisers have direct and easy access to millions of potential underage consumers because younger teens often watch television after 9 p.m. without parental or adult involvement.

  • More than 3 in 4 teenage boys and girls ages 12 to 15 (76%) who watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights do so without adult supervision at least some of the time, including two-thirds of 12- and 13-year-olds (66%).  Nearly half of teens under the age of 16 watch television by themselves (47%) and 1 in 4 (25%) watch with siblings.

  • An estimated 9.3 million teens 12- to 15-years-old watch television after 9 p.m. on school nights unsupervised by an adult.  This includes 3.6 million children ages 12 and 13 and 5.7 million 14 and 15 year-olds.

  • Nearly half of all younger teens ages 12 to 15 (48%) say they watch television after 9 p.m. without an adult being present "most of the time" or "all of the time."  Nearly 4.5 million younger teens ages 12 to 15 watch television after 9 pm on school nights without any adult supervision at all.

2.  Teens say they don't pay much attention to commercials, but their high un-aided product and brand recall -- including for alcoholic beverages -- indicates that advertisers saturate this audience with advertising.

 

Top-of-Mind Advertising Recall Among Teens is High

Although only 3 in 10 teens ages 12 to 18 (31%) say they pay "a great deal" or "some" attention to television commercials or advertising after 9 p.m. on school nights, advertising recall of products and specific brands is high.  

  • On a top-of-mind (unaided) basis, more than half of teens (53%) cited one of four products as the kind of products that are advertised on commercials that appear on shows after 9 p.m. on school nights.   Unaided recall was highest for cars, cosmetics and movies.

  • Recall of advertising for alcoholic beverages ranked fourth of all product categories mentioned on a top-of-mind basis.

More than 6 in 10 teens ages 12 to 18 (62%) can name, top-of-mind (unaided), a specific company or brand that advertises products that appear in commercials on shows on school nights after 9 p.m.  Clearly, teens remember brands by name.

  • The top five brands included Nestle, Nike, Budweiser, McDonalds and Pepsi.

Teens Think Television Advertising After 9 p.m. Targets Them

The poll found that 12- to 18-year-olds believe that advertisers are reaching out to them; teens recognize they are targeted by television ads that air after 9 p.m.

  • More than 7 in 10 teens (71%) – including 76% of youths ages 12 and 13 – say that television ads that air after 9:00 p.m. are designed for both adults over 21 and kids "their age."

3.  Teens report high awareness of ads for the new liquor-branded "alcopops," which most youths think are liquor, not beer or malt-based beverages.

 

Top-of-Mind (un-aided) Awareness of New Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" is High

More than 7 in 10 teens 12 to 18 (73%) have seen television advertisements for alcoholic-beverage products, including 71% of youths ages 12 and 13.  When asked which alcohol products the advertisements were for, top-of-mind recall of newly advertised liquor-branded alcopops was surprisingly high.

  • Although established beer brands such as Budweiser (47%) and Miller (24%) had the highest unaided advertising recall among teens, more than 1 in 10 teenage respondents spontaneously mentioned the liquor-branded "alcopops": Smirnoff Ice (15%), Mike's Hard Lemonade (13%) and Bacardi Silver (11%).  Among 12- and 13-year-olds, Mike's Hard Lemonade had the highest awareness (12%), followed by Bacardi Silver (8%).

  • An additional 2% to 3% of 12- to 18-year-olds mentioned Skyy Blue (3%) and Doc Otis' Hard Lemonade (2%).

Aided Awareness of Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" Is Very High

To gauge the level of exposure to television advertising for liquor-branded and other "alcopops" among 12- to 18-year-olds, surveyors read teens a list of products and asked if they had seen any advertising for each.  To control for false positives -- where teens say they saw television advertising for a product but in fact had not -- the list of products included two fictitious brands: Absolut Platinum and Seagram Split.

 

As the following chart shows, teens have extremely high aided awareness of "alcopops," including those products associated with liquor-brand names.  Awareness of the fictitious brands ranked lowest by far, reinforcing the conclusion that teens ages 12 to 18 are regularly exposed to advertising for many brands of "alcopops."

 

I am going to read a list of alcoholic products.  For each, please tell me if you have seen any advertising commercials for these products.

ALL

(%)

M

(%)

F

(%)

12-13

(%)

14-15

(%)

16-18

(%)

Smirnoff Ice

62 71 54 47 65 72

Mike's Hard Lemonade

58 65 52 54 58 62

Zima

52 60 45 39 53 63

Coors Vibe

45 48 41 44 46 44

Bacardi Silver

40 41 38 29 39 50

Skyy Blue

30 34 27 26 30 34

Absolut Platinum

14 15 13 11 16 15

Seagram Split

7 8 6 9 5 6

 

Teens Think Advertisements for Liquor-Branded "Alcopops" are Hard-Liquor Commercials

The poll presented teens with a list of eight "alcopop" products (including two fictitious brands -- Absolut Platinum and Seagram Split) and asked whether they thought each was more like beer, more like wine, or more like liquor.

 

Poll results suggest that teens associate liquor-branded "alcopops" with liquor more than beer and wine.   Likewise, teens viewed Coors Vibe, with its well-known, beer-brand name, more as a beer product. The poll found that teens think:

  • Bacardi Silver is more like liquor (42%) than beer (19%) or wine (18%); 20% unsure;

  • Smirnoff Ice is more like liquor (36%) than beer (32%) or wine (14%); 17% unsure;

  • Skyy Blue is more like liquor (31%) than beer (23%) or wine (19%); 27% unsure;

  • Coors Vibe is more like beer (67%) than liquor (10%) and wine (6%); 18% unsure;

  • Seagram Split (fictitious brand) is more like liquor (30%) than wine (19%) and beer (14%); 37% unsure;

  • Absolut Platinum (fictitious brand) is more like liquor (42%) than beer (13%) and wine (13%); 31% unsure.

Many teens ages 12 to 18 who are exposed to television advertising for liquor-branded "alcopops" mistakenly assume they are seeing advertising for liquor products.

 


 

[1] Global Strategy Group, Inc. is a premier, independent, Washington, D.C.-based strategic polling and market research firm whose clients include Chase Bank, American Express, Six Flags Theme Parks, ABC Monday Night Football, Disney Corporation, The Commonwealth Fund, the Kaiser Family Foundation, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, among others.

[2] Although 12-year-olds are not normally considered teenagers, for ease of reference the term "teens"  in this report includes children of this age.

[3] Projections are based on the 2000 Census, which estimates that there are a total of 28.2 million U.S. residents between the ages of 12 and 18.

 

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Center for Science in the Public Interest

Alcohol Policies Project

1220 L St. NW, Suite 300

Washington, DC  20005

Phone: 202-332-9110 * Fax: 202-265-4954 * Web: www.cspinet.org/booze