Russia Bans Beer Advertisements
People that consume alcohol would know Russian vodka is famous and it is a well-deserved fame. Although, people generally associate Russia with vodka, Russia is also the world’s fourth largest beer market. But a new era will start in Russia in 2013. If you ever go to Russia and crave for a beer in an airport, bus stop, railway station remember the new era, beer cannot be sold in any public place in Russia.
Consumers will not get to drink a cold beer in public areas. What about marketers? There is another challange for marketers resulting from new law aimed at diminishing alcohol abuse. In July, beer ads will be prohibited on television. Now it is a good time to build brand awareness by all means. Not only the depth of the brand awareness but also the breadth of awareness is crucial to achieve brand salience. As media tools, TV is an effective way for promotion and that toy of marketers are taken away from them. Of course, marketers will have the chance to advertise digitally but watching an ad while reading an e-mail will not be as efficient as the movie break ads in TV that we expose everyday. However, Russia’s favorite social networking site Vkontakte don’t permit beer ads and Facebook is not as popular as Vkontakte. This is a new era in Russia for consumers, marketers and for advertising agencies. In the future, beer will lose its title in Russia now regarded as “soda” or “cold beverage”. Retailers will be very happy with this situation as there will be massive shelf wars among beer brands.
President Dmitry Medvedev, who signed the law anticipates that in 2020 the beer consumption will decrease from 18 liters (per-capita) to five to eight liters. Advertising creates brand recognition, brand awareness therefore, I don’t expect a significant decrease in the consumption of beer but to make consumers remember a brand will be tough. Lets assume that the president’s anticipations are right; Is this an act to in favor of the soda market? Obviously, Coke, Pepsi will benefit from this if there is a decrease in the consumption as the president anticipates. Is it for reducing the consumption of alcohol for Russian people? I understand the concerns for society for excessive amount of beer consumption but what about vodka which is real alcohol compared to beer. However,in my opinion, it is just another obstacle for marketers. Now, the most essential thing in Russia for beer brands is “to create brand loyalty” with more innovative ways.