Alcohol and marketing.

Looking at the marketing of alcohol, it’s always centered around good times with friends and beautiful scenery.

Why do you suppose that is?

Imagine consistently drinking alcohol alone and in a terrible, dirty place. How would you feel?

Depressed.

Alcohol adds to that because it is a depressant. Putting these two together is a combination for bad mental health. As a result, the marketing for alcohol presents things that perk brains up, friends, fun, and scenery. Always consuming alcohol under these same circumstances, a brain starts to associate alcohol with friend, fun and scenery, forming a connection. The drinker is hooked because it’s easier to access alcohol than coordinating an event with friends or a trip to a beautiful place.

I’m writing this because people close to me have taken a culture of “having fun” and drinking too far, and it has ended in death of a member of their group. There are times when marketing works too well. When it starts to change the behaviors of people in a way that no longer benefits the consumer. Marketing is part of the economy, working to distribute shelter, clothing, and food, but people don’t need to be manipulated into positive associations with those. You don’t need an excuse to talk to a friend. You don’t have to have alcohol in your hand as an excuse to visit with others, no different than not needing a cigarette to hang out and socialize.

The world is filled with people looking for excuses to indulge in the company of others, no purchase is necessary, simply choose to enjoy the other person for their conversation and friendship. That’s enough. The best things in life are free after all.

P.S. It’s worth an occasional self-reflection to ask whether the habits you have are because you enjoy the actual habit, or because you associate it with something else you enjoy. If it’s only because of association, perhaps it’s time to drop it.