How alcohol advertising and sponsorship works: Effects through indirect measures

Oulmann Zerhouni, Laurent Bègue, Kerry S. O'Brien

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Introduction and Aims: We tested whether incidental exposure to alcohol marketing messages in sporting events: (i) influenced automatic evaluation of brands and alcohol in general; and (ii) if these processes occur through deliberative (conscious) or non-conscious processes. Design and Methods: Using an experimental design, participants watched a sport event containing: (i) a prototypical alcohol brand; (ii) a brand unrelated to alcohol; or (iii) a non-prototypical alcohol brand. One hundred and nine participants were randomly assigned to either a cognitively depleting task to impair motivation for effortful conscious processing before watching the excerpt, or a control task. We measured indirect (implicit) and direct (explicit) attitudes toward alcohol and brands, and self-report measures assessing affective response toward the event, involvement in processing the message and identifications toward the playing teams. Results: We found a positive main effect of incidental exposure to alcohol brands on indirect measures of attitudes toward alcohol as well as the specific brand. No effect of cognitive fatigue on indirect measure toward brands and alcohol was observed. Discussion and Conclusions: Incidental exposure to alcohol marketing messages appear to impact indirect measures of attitudes toward the brand and alcohol in general, and seems to rely on non-conscious automatic processes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)391-398
Number of pages8
JournalDrug and Alcohol Review
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2019


  • alcohol sponsorship
  • evaluative learning
  • implicit attitude
  • self-regulation failure

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