Branding, Brewed and Bottled
As much as alcohol brands are famous for dropping major cash on TV space, that "cha-ching" you're hearing is the universe sending a friendly reminder that they spend plenty on promotional products as well. From bottle openers and T-shirts to L.E.D. Schlitz signs and coasters decorated with famous pirates, the physical branding opportunities for alcoholic beverages are nearly endless. Perhaps the only cruelty is that the promotional product aspect of alcohol marketing takes far more effort than writing a 30-second mess of dude-jokes and lady-objectification for a television spot, but that's nothing that can't be overcome with a little insight from industry peers and experts.
Your First Sip
Getting work promoting an alcohol brand isn't something that only happens through the corporate office. Jim Wysopal, president of Openers Plus, Costa Mesa, Calif., explained that because of laws forcing separation between alcohol manufacturers, distributors and retailers, there are plenty of smaller, independent middle-man companies interested in promoting specific brands. Local alcohol distributorships depend on branded items as low-cost advertising to convince bars, restaurants and liquor stores to carry the specific types of alcohol. There is more opportunity in this aspect of the alcohol market than you might think, and for more information on selling into it, read What's On Tap? and Where Everybody Knows Your Name.
A Beer In Hand
Whether you end up working with a smaller distributor or a full-on corporate band, point-of-purchase (P.O.P.) promotions seem to be a good area to focus your efforts. Edward Duniven, director of special markets for TMD Holdings LLC, Pittsburgh, stated that many of the alcohol brands the company works with will do a lot of event-based marketing at bars, clubs or sporting events, as well as direct P.O.P. displays. Duniven described the types of items sought at bars and clubs."They do a lot of L.E.D., they do a lot of light-up, they do a lot of T-shirts and hats, things that can be given away kind of easily as a door prize or to everybody that walks in," he said.