Survey Says Beer Ads Appeal to Youth

COLUMBUS—About 8,000 youth in 20 states voted Buick’s Super Bowl ad featuring Cam Newton as their favorite commercial of the game in Big Bowl Vote 2017.

Responses to the survey, which is organized by Drug Free Action Alliance and includes teachers of middle and high school students, show that alcohol ads still capture the imagination of the children watching the big game.

Budweiser and Bud Light both ranked in the top five most remembered brands with middle school and high school students when asked which brands they remember were advertised. Busch Beer also ranked in the top 10 with high school students and just outside the top 10 with middle school students. “Kids remember the ads they see during the Super Bowl, especially those involving alcohol,” said Marcie Seidel, executive director of Drug Free Action Alliance. “And the research is unequivocally clear – alcohol ads lead to more kids drinking more alcohol.”

According to the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth, when youth are exposed to alcohol ads, they are more likely to drink and drink more than their peers. Other studies cited by CAMY concluded that reduced alcohol exposure would lead to reductions in underage drinking.

That’s problematic because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says underage drinking leads to 4,300 deaths and costs society $24 billion each year.

“Kids are impressionable,” Seidel said. “And they don’t always realize that the glamorous lifestyle portrayed on TV is engineered to get them to want a product – in this case, one that’s illegal for them to buy or consume and dangerous for their health.”

High school students most remember Skittles, Budweiser, Bud Light, Buick and Coca-Cola’s brand names. Busch Beer came in as the 8th most-remembered brand. Their favorite ads were by Buick, Skittles, Kia, Mr. Clean and Budweiser. Busch Beer and Bud Light came in 6th and 8th. Middle school students most remembered Skittles, Coca-Cola, Buick, Budweiser and Bud Light. Busch Beer came in 11th. Their favorite ads were by Buick, Skittles, Kia, Disney (Baywatch) and Mr. Clean. Busch Beer came in 6th, Budweiser in 9th and Bud Light in 16th.

Big Bowl Vote, a program of Drug Free Action Alliance, invites youth, primarily middle and high-school students, from across the nation to rank Super Bowl ads in a simple, three-question survey. Big Bowl Vote indicates that youth are heavily exposed and drawn to alcohol advertisements aired during the big game and provides a relevant starting point for discussing media literacy and underage drinking.

Top 10 favorite ads of high school students:

  • Buick – Cam Newton
  • Skittles – Romance the Rainbow
  • Kia – Heroes Journey
  • Mr. Clean – Man Who Cleans
  • Budweiser – Immigrant
  • Busch Beer – Crisp Cold
  • T-Mobile – Touchdown Celebrations
  • Bud Light – Spuds Mackenzie
  • NFL – Toddler NFL Legends
  • Coca-Cola – “America the Beautiful”

Top 10 most recalled ads of high school students:

  • Skittles
  • Budweiser
  • Bud Light
  • Buick
  • Coca-Cola
  • Mr. Clean
  • T-Mobile
  • Busch Beer
  • Kia
  • Ford

Top 10 favorite ads of middle school students:

  • Buick – Cam Newton
  • Skittles – Romance the Rainbow
  • Kia – Heroes Journey
  • Baywatch – Dwayne Johnson
  • Mr. Clean – Man Who Cleans
  • Busch Beer – Crisp Cold
  • NFL – Toddler NFL Legends
  • Honda – Throwback Thursday – Celebrities
  • Budweiser – Immigrant
  • Coca-Cola – “America the Beautiful”

Top 10 most recalled ads of middle school students:

  • Skittles
  • Buick
  • Coca-Cola
  • Budweiser
  • Bud Light
  • Ford
  • T-Mobile
  • Mr. Clean
  • Kia
  • Tide

Drug Free Action Alliance is a certified prevention agency leading the way in promoting healthy lives through the prevention of substance abuse and fostering mental health wellness for 30 years. DFAA is nationally recognized for building networks that empower communities to create safe and healthy environments.