Gabrielli J, Corcoran E, Genis S, McClure AC, Tanski SE. Exposure to Television Alcohol Brand Appearances as Predictor of Adolescent Brand Affiliation and Drinking Behaviors. J Youth Adolescence 51, 100–113 (2022). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10964-021-01397-0
This study described alcohol brand depictions in television and evaluated the impact of exposure to these depictions on adolescent drinking outcomes. Ten popular scripted television series, broadcast, cable, or online, were content coded for alcohol depictions. Appearances of alcohol brands were coded based on logo/name and salience (how notable the brand appearance was in the series). Adolescents and young adults aged 15-23 years old (N=2,012) were recruited to complete online surveys and interviews at baseline and follow-up one year later. During the interviews and surveys, alcohol consumption, brand affiliation (usual brand to drink), and television exposure to alcohol brands (based on how often they watched the ten content coded series) was assessed. On average, alcohol brands appeared more than twice per episode and Budweiser brand appeared the most often across all television series. The majority (77%) of adolescents reported having seen at least one of the ten television series. Adjusting for covariates (i.e., peer/parent drinking, sensation seeking, alcohol brand exposure in movies), higher exposure to brand appearances in television was associated with alcohol outcomes. Higher number of television alcohol brand appearances was associated with adolescent brand affiliation; television brand exposure was associated with drinking initiation and harmful drinking behaviors. Overall, these results suggest the influence that marketing, through streaming media, has on youth viewers’ alcohol use behavior. Future studies should assess mechanisms such as subjective norms and beliefs to better inform interventions that might mitigate the risks associated with media depictions of alcohol. Additionally, alcohol marketing should be further evaluated to consider strategies to limit the negative impact of media exposure.