Summer brews or bad news: HPA continues with ‘Not Beersies’

While there has been a long-held perception that beer increases confidence, wit and the attractiveness of other people (okay, maybe this part is still true), the comforting alcohol blanket has gradually been pulled away over the years to reveal the sobering truth, that too much beer is more likely to make the drinker stumbly, belchy and obnoxious. The Health Promotion Agency and FCB have played on this with the year-old campaign ‘Not Beersies’, which champions the benefits of switching that beer for a water, launching a new ad to coincide with the beer-heavy summer period. 

The campaign’s latest spot features two friends grappling and dancing their way through a crowd at a party to get to a pretty girl that they both have their eye on. One is armed with beer, the other with water. Unsurprisingly it’s the water drinker that has the smoothest, less sloppy and composed arrival, while his beer-guzzling mate is left stumbling and vomiting after a few bevvies too many.

Go the distance with #NotBeersies

Posted by Not Beersies on Saturday, 9 January 2016

The ‘Not Beersies’ campaign was first launched in November 2014 to promote water as a tool to slow down drinking, according to the Health Promotion Agency website and was off the back of the ‘Say yeah, nah’ campaign. It kicked off with ads which borrowed from the tropes of beer advertising to reinvent the humble glass of water.

It then struck again by poking fun at beer drinking culture with a series of three satirical videos that showcased the ‘Not Beersies’ versions of home brewing, pouring that perfect drink and hosting a beer garden.

“Alcohol moderation campaigns like ‘Not Beersies’ aim to provide people with alternatives that help moderate their alcohol intake. Not Beersies is a positive way to moderate alcohol intake by providing people with something they can do when they refuse a drink,” the Health Promotion Agency’s website says.

Lower-percentile beers seem to have increased in popularity and number since New Zealand lowered its alcohol limit in 2014. DB, for example, in August last year launched DB Export o.o% Citrus – a lemon-flavoured lager with zero alcohol content and released the brew in conjunction with its ‘Brewtroleum’ campaign, via Colenso. Heineken Light was also launched around the same time last year.

Speight’s offers its ‘Mid Ale’, and Tuatara it’s ‘Iti’ and ‘Outrigger’. On the wine front, Lindauer has also introduced a couple of low-percentage options, dubbed ‘Enlighten’.

According to the Herald after the legal blood alcohol limit was lowered from 80mg to 50mg per milliliter of blood towards the end of 2014, light beer sales almost doubled, putting it in the second fastest growth category behind craft beer. 

It’s no surprise punters are opting for low-alcohol beer, considering there were 8000 drink-drivers caught in the first year of the legislation, and were issued fines totalling more than $1.6 million. 

According to Nielsen New Zealand supermarket sales, low alcohol beer sales have increased from about $12 million around Christmas in 2014 to around $19 million close to Christmas last year. In 2013 light beer sales in supermarkets were $5.1 million.*

Source: Nielsen

DB Breweries managing director Andy Routley said lower alcohol or light beer made up around 24 percent of total beer sales in Australian supermarkets, compared with about five percent in New Zealand. However, this figure has jumped from one percent two years ago and will continue to grow, he said.

StopPress has contacted the Health Promotion Agency for more information on the campaign and will update the story accordingly.

*This story originally mistakenly said that light beer sales in supermarkets were $5,100, and that sales had increased by over $10,000 in supermarkets alone since 2013. 

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