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29/11/2013

Is this still music or just marketing?

Alcohol product placement is a form of marketing that has become more and more widespread in popular music videos over the last years.

Product placement as defined by the EU law is "any form of audiovisual commercial communication consisting of the inclusion of or reference to a product, a service or the trade mark thereof so that it is featured within a programme". Product placement stands out as a marketing strategy because it is imperative to attach the utmost importance to "the context and environment within which the product is displayed or used".

Earlier this year researchers at the Boston University School of Public Health and the Center on Alcohol Marketing and Youth (CAMY) at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health published a study examining the context of specific bran mentions in music videos. They found that alcohol use was portrayed as overwhelmingly positive, with negative consequences rarely mentioned.

Of the 720 songs examined, 167 (23.2%) mentioned alcohol and 46 (6.4%) mentioned specific alcohol brands. The leading four brands accounted for more than half (51.6%) of all alcohol brand mentions. Alcohol mentions were most common in urban songs (rap, hip-hop and R&B – 37.7% of songs mentioned alcohol), followed by country (21.8%) and pop (14.9%).

At least 14 long-term studies have found that exposure to alcohol marketing in the mass media increases the likelihood that young people will start drinking or, if already drinking, drink more. Adolescents in the U.S. spend approximately 2.5 hours per day listening to music.

Given the heavy exposure of youth to popular music, these results suggest popular music may serve as a major source of promotion of alcohol use among youth,” said study co-author David Jernigan, PhD, director of CAMY. “The findings lay a strong foundation for further research.”

The researchers used Billboard Magazine annual listings of the most popular songs in 2009, 2010 and 2011 to identify 720 unique songs in four genres: urban, pop, country and rock. Three coders analyzed the lyrics of each song to determine alcohol references, brand references and the context for each.

Researchers found alcohol references in 167 songs. References to tequila, cognac, vodka and champagne brands were more prevalent in urban music (R&B, hip-hop and rap), while references to whiskey and beer brands were more common in country or pop music. There were no references to alcohol in the rock music examined.

“A small number of alcohol brands and beverages appear to make frequent appearances in popular music,” said Michael Siegel, MD, MPH, professor of Community Health Sciences at the Boston University School of Public Health. “If these exposures are found to influence youth drinking behavior, then further public health efforts must be focused on youth exposure to alcohol portrayals in popular music.”

Have a look to find out for yourself:

One More Drink" by Ludacris


Asher Roth - I Love College

And have a look at vodka product placement in Jennifer Lopez videoclips