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Alcohol Advertisers Are Good at What They Do

Don’t Believe the Hype!

Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

I’m not much of a TV watcher, but lately I’ve been watching a lot of the NBA playoff games. It’s shocking to me how many ads for vodka are played during the sporting event. Basketball, which has some of the most resilient and finely-tuned athletes in the world in intense competition. And vodka, a hard liquor. Strange bedfellows, except for the fact that they’re sold to us as a package deal.

George Clooney’s tequila brand, whatever it’s called, is buying a lot of ad time as well.

I hope George and his buddies are as cool with the tequila as they look to be in the ads. You can be sure that a lot of their customers can’t handle it, the same as they cannot handle any liquor. But maybe, just maybe, they’ll get some of that George Clooney vibe if they have one more glass of it.

Another ad I noticed was for a beer - don’t remember or care which one - where the swirling golden foam of beer being poured was on glorious display. I wondered what subliminal messages were in the picture.

Alcohol, beer, and wine are huge businesses. In our capitalist society, they’re made for profit. This means that they need to be Marketed and Advertised and Sold!


There are certain things I know. One, I’m never going to look like George Clooney, nor will I have his money and charm and history and legacy.

I’m not going to be hanging on a beach with Snoop Dogg doing funny stuff while drinking Corona.

The latest and hippest vodka will not make me suave.


tried to make alcohol work, way past its due date for me.

I bought into the whole ridiculous party guy idea. It became my identity.


Here are a few of the things I do to keep it up front that alcohol will never work for me again, if it ever did:

- I don’t fantasize about drinking. I don’t hide away ideas or desires to drink or get high in secret compartments of my brain

- If I see something that mindlessly appeals to me, such as walking down a sidewalk and seeing a couple of frozen drinks being set down on a table by a waiter, I do my best to immediately bring it top of mind and realize what I’m thinking. From there, I remember that it’s poison for me. Those folks may be able to enjoy it, maybe not. It looks cool at 7pm, but what do they look like at 3am?

- I keep up front in my head where alcohol took me. Also, the places it hasn’t taken me yet, places where I never want to go. Divorce. Homelessness. Prison. State mental institutions. An early grave.

- Walk away from whatever is being presented to me. Change my focus. Change the channel. Realize that I’m human, and I’m not always in control of what I see and what my thoughts are. But, I am in control of my reactions to it, and the actions I take.

- It boils down to this: I think the drink through. I picture some of the bad outcomes and experiences I had, and I’m honest with myself. The delicious looking daiquiri is a false flag because it leads to terrible drinking for me.


I’m a happily married man and I want to stay that way.

As much as the beer commercials sell sex, no German Oktoberfest gals carrying big beer steins are going to take me home.

I had a friend who used to talk about the “beer look.” How after 7 or 8 beers guys would get that slack-jawed, dumb look on their face, where their IQ would seemingly drop to minus 17.

Sexy. Yep, if you’re trying to mate with a Sasquatch.


I’m in control of my actions as a sober person, and I don’t want to compromise my ability to make decisions.


We live in a society where drinking is huge business, and huge culture.

It’s the job of the marketers to make it look fun, cool, sexy, and otherwise enticing.

These people are the best at what they do. They get paid big money, and they do a good job of it.

Clydesdales are magnificent horses. Anheuser-Busch would somehow have us feel our appreciation for looking at the “Budweiser Clydesdales” to be connected with a middling-to-lousy beer. Who thought of that?

How many Busch beers did I drink by beautiful mountain streams while relaxing after doing exhilarating mountainy-type things? Less than one, if I recall correctly.

Another big part of what they do is to make us feel like we’re lacking something, whether it be a cool factor, fun, ultimate leisure experiences, sophistication, sexiness, smoothness, charm…whatever it may be. And then, like magic, if we too buy this booze or beer or wine, we’ll stop lacking those things and become just like the people we see in the 60-second slices of fantasy on our tv.

I’m not in a temperance society, nor do I need to try to change our economy and our culture.

I simply need to know, fully, my own relationship to alcohol.

No advertising will change the truth of that.

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