Total advertising spend on all alcoholic beverages jumped $193 mil, 10% to $2.145 bil last yr, according to Kantar Media data reported yesterday by Citi’s Wendy Nicholson. Beer got over 76% of alc bev advertising $$ and represented all of increase. Beer advertising spend jumped same $193 mil, 13% to $1.649 bil. So top brewers and importers stepped up spending big time. That’s even as category sales remained flattish, including continued declines from top 2, AB and MC.
AB gain seems particularly outsized given results. Its ad spending jumped an astounding $120 mil, 20% to $714 mil, according to Kantar Media. That’s a 43 “share of voice” in beer ad $$, up from 40.8. And yet its sales-to-retailers declined 2%, slightly steeper dropoff than the yr before. Meanwhile, MC also increased ad $$, tho not anywhere near as sharply. Its ad spending up 6%, $27 mil to $479 mil. And its STRs down 2.5%, same is in 2014-15. Then too, MC light beer spending down 1%, reports Citi (and it gained share of premium lights), while it more than doubled other spending. MC was 29 share of beer ad spend.
Biggest % jump of course went to Constellation, which also got outsized growth. STZ beer spend up $47 mil, 26% to $225 mil and almost 14% of beer ad $$. It only spent $20 mil advertising its wine and spirits brands. And that was down slightly. Meanwhile, Heineken USA increased spending 6%, same rate as MillerCoors. Up $9 mil to $161 mil. Interestingly, Boston Beer decreased ad spend $10 mil, 16% to $50 mil. And its sales softened lots. So AB pumped up spending and did worse on Bud Light; MC spent slightly less on premium lights and gained share of segment. And Constellation boosted ad spending big time and got improved results. Does increased advertising work? It depends.