Purpose of Paper:
The market for beer in the UK is now mature and sales have been stable at around £16bn for about ten years (Mintel 2014). More recently, there have been changes in the market as consumers have switched from bigger mainstream brands to a growing number of smaller craft beers. However, in order to grow further significantly, the industry needs to explore new market segments and find new consumers for beer. So far, it is estimated that only 1.3m women in the UK drink beer (O'Reilly, 2014; Mail Online, 2015). Women are therefore an underexplored segment and present the main growth opportunity for beer drinking in the UK.
However, most beer television advertising has traditionally been aimed at the male audience and there have been suggestions that some of this advertising has been seen as unpopular with or even insulting to women (Jackson, 2013; Zwarun et al., 2006). The Chief Executive of major brewer SAB Miller, which owns the Foster's brand, has recently written that, 'We have to acknowledge that core lager advertising, for many years, was either dismissive of, or insulting to, women.' (Shubber, 2015).
If women are to be the new consumers and the future target for beer advertising, there is therefore a significant gap in the knowledge and literature concerned with how women differ from men in responding to the television advertising produced by beer brands and it is important that this gap in knowledge is addressed. The purpose of this paper is therefore to explore the effect of the television advertising of the three top selling UK beer brands on women's attitudes and purchase intentions towards those brands. More specifically, the objectives are:
1) To gain an understanding of how female consumers respond to existing beer television advertising, specifically in terms of the ‘likeability’ of the content of TV commercials produced by the three leading UK beer brands among female consumers.
2) To examine the effect of the rational and emotional content, including the use of humour, in television commercials produced by the three leading UK beer brands on the attitudes of female consumers towards those brands.
3) To explore in-depth female consumer attitudes towards the content (message cues and symbolism) of the television commercials produced by the three leading beer brands in the UK and their effect on subsequent purchase intentions for each brand.