Liquor Giant Chivas Regal Partners with K-Pop Star Lisa from Blackpink
Chivas Regal, a brand under alcohol giant Pernod Ricard, has deployed a new marketing campaign to expand their target group and maximize profits. In their line of sight are upcoming, young Asians who value hard work and success.
Chivas is targeting young Asians because they know young people are losing interest in alcohol. But Big Alcohol’s profit margins depend on hooking young people to their products early, to groom lifelong heavy alcohol consumers. So they have begun to zero in on a group that had so far been ignored by Big Alcohol: young Asians.
Lisa does the dirty work for Big Alcohol
To target young Asian, Big Alcohol sought out the perfect candidate to partner with, Lisa from the popular K-Pop group Blackpink who recently reached global fame in her solo career.
Background on Chivas Regal
- Chivas Regal is an alcohol brand owned by the liquor giant Pernod Ricard. In the latter half of 2021 (six months ending on December 31) Pernod Ricard made €1.998 billion (US$2.28 billion) in profits. A 22% increase in profits.
- In the first half of 2021, Pernod Ricard’s sales totalled €5.959 billion, a 17% growth.
- Pernod Ricard announced plans to pump even more dollars into marketing in 2022 to increase consumption of their products in the long term. Chivas Regal’s partnership with Lisa appears to be part of this strategy.
Who is Lisa?
- Lalisa Manobal (born Pranpriya Manobal), famously known as just Lisa, is one of the four members of the popular K-Pop girl group Blackpink of YG Entertainment.
- Lisa is originally from Thailand and moved to South Korea to pursue a career as a K-Pop artist. She is a 24-year-old rapper, singer, and dancer. Lisa made her solo debut in September 2021, quickly rising to global fame.
- Lisa’s Instagram account has 75.1 million followers (as of March 23, 2022). Her large fanbase of mostly young people is now open to the influence of Big Alcohol through Lisa.
Chivas Regal and Lisa are partnering for the alcohol brand’s latest campaign “I Rise, We Rise”. The campaign is about hard work or the “hustle” to achieve success and sharing that success with others to “elevate” them.
The first advertisement directed by Liukh featuring Lisa is already out. The ad attempts to show young people that Chivas Regal is what young, successful hustlers, specifically young women, consume. It rides on the undertones of breaking cultural barriers in careers and empowering women. The ad screams buy Chivas, be like Lisa.
The campaign connects all these positive ideals of success, hard work, breaking cultural barriers, women’s empowerment, and sharing success with Chivas Regal – a harmful, addictive, carcinogenic product. Asians are known for valuing hard work and success.
Chivas Regal is exploiting young Asians’ value systems, to cover up the addictive, cancer-causing, deadly substance that is alcohol.”Tharaka Ranchigoda
Breaking cultural barriers and women’s empowerment is valued by today’s young people around the world.
Chivas Regal is strategically exploiting these value systems, using these values to cover up the addictive, cancer-causing, deadly substance that they seek to hook people on to make more profits in Asia. Glamourizing alcohol and hiding all these facts is a strategic, well-planned illusion.
Why did Chivas Regal partner with Lisa?
Lisa is famous among the young target group that Chivas wants to tap into to gain more customers, increase the use of their products, and earn more profits.
Chivas Global Marketing Director, Nick Blacknell, says as much when he explains social media has introduced a new audience to them that seeks “upmarket brands” and that it “makes sense to them” to speak to this audience.
But why now? Because young people, specifically in the western world are staying alcohol-free longer, become more sober curious, health and sustainability conscious, and are thus increasingly ditching the booze. Whiskey, like all other alcohol, is losing popularity fast. In Asian countries, the majority of people lives free from alcohol anyway.
Young people are undoing the pervasive alcohol norms present in Western cultures. In doing so they are creating a more inclusive, health-conscious culture that prioritizes holistic well-being. Youth are increasingly recognizing the illusion Big Alcohol creates around their harmful products and sees through the lies Big Alcohol sells. They are discovering the many gains of cutting down or going alcohol-free.
According to a Jeffries survey of 4000 consumers in eight major economies of the world, over half (56%) of 18- to 24-year-olds think consuming even one or two alcoholic beverages a day is harmful, compared with 31% of those aged 65 and over.
The above survey found that young people were the only age cohort where the idea that alcohol is harmful outweighed more positive attitudes to alcohol.
The leading reasons why young people prefer to reduce alcohol use or stay alcohol-free are:
- Saving money,
- Health conditions,
- Mental health, and
- Avoiding hangovers.
Worldwide youth are staying alcohol-free for longer. Movendi International has reported about this trend in Sweden, the United States, Germany, Scotland, and Japan. Millennials are consuming less and less alcohol, while Generation Z is the least alcohol-consuming generation in human history.
Young people moving away from alcohol is good news for the youth’s health and well-being and thus, the world’s future. But for Big Alcohol this is frightening.”Tharaka Ranchigoda
Scientific research shows that the decline in youth alcohol use is well-established and unlikely to reverse, and that youth are carrying these lower levels of alcohol use into adulthood. For example, recent data reports that youth alcohol use is falling in the United States, Sweden, Australia, and beer consumption is declining among German youth.
Young people moving away from alcohol is good news for the youth’s health and well-being and thus, the world’s future. But for Chivas, Pernod Ricard and Big Alcohol in general this is frightening. For Big Alcohol this means loss of profits.
That is why the alcohol industry heavily markets to young people fighting against the obvious decline in interest and ignoring the harm their products cause to young people. Since youth in the Western world are going alcohol-free, Big Alcohol is now aggressively targeting Asia with its growing young populations.
Alcohol marketing is harmful for young people
Marketing campaigns such as Chivas Regal x Lisa are harmful to young people. Big Alcohol, in this case Pernod Ricard, is trying to distract young people in Asia from the harms their products and practices cause by collaborating with K-pop stars to glamorize and disguise that ethanol in beer, wine, and liquor causes massive harm. So they are paying millions for marketing campaigns, such as with Lisa.
The campaign is cynical considering the only thing rising from this marketing campaign is Chivas Regal’s profits and Lisa’s income – and alcohol harm in young Asians.”Tharaka Ranchigoda
As Maik Dünnbier of Movendi International has previously exposed, alcohol marketing is harmful to young people because it shapes their attitudes towards alcohol, predicting their future consumption and loyalty to alcohol brands.
A systematic review of 13 longitudinal studies following more than 38,000 young people concluded that being exposed to media and commercial communications on alcohol is related to:
- The likelihood that adolescents will start to use alcohol, and
- Among those who already use alcohol relates to the likelihood of increased alcohol use.
In an experimental study, 412 young people were shown a four-minute movie trailer in which alcohol was portrayed in either a positive situation or a negative situation. The study found:
- Positive portrayal of alcohol heightened their desire to consume alcohol, and
- Negative portrayal of alcohol discouraged alcohol consumption.
A 2015 study from researchers at Boston University and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore found:
- underage youth were more than five times more likely to consume alcohol brands that advertise on national television and
- 36% more likely to consume brands that advertise in national magazines.
This evidence clearly shows that Lisa is doing the dirty work for Big Alcohol, selling her glamor, appeal, and reach to young Asians to Big Alcohol, so that Chivas can endow their products with qualities they don’t have.
A recent report by WHO Europe highlighted the need to protect children and young people from digital alcohol marketing.
The report states:
“The alcohol industry exploits the digital space to develop, maintain, and nurture relationships with (yet to become) consumers. They do this on “public” social media and other digital platforms (e.g. Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, YouTube) and “private” social media – such as the messaging services Messenger and WhatsApp. Unlike traditional advertising contexts, consumers on social media platforms interact with branded content; as a result, their data can be harvested and used to target them directly with highly sophisticated, personalized marketing pitches”WHO Europe report “Digital marketing of alcohol: Challenges and policy options for better health in the WHO European Region” 2021
Exposure to alcohol ads in childhood and adolescence is directly linked to subsequent alcohol use.
The human brain develops approximately until the age of 25. Therefore, alcohol use poses a developmental risk to young people, concerning the development of cognitive and intellectual capacities.
- In the U.S., young people who started using alcohol before age 15 are,
- 12 times more likely to suffer unintentional injuries,
- 7 times more likely to be in a motor vehicle crash, and
- 10 times more likely to have been in a physical fight.
- The younger the children and adolescents are when they start using alcohol, the more likely they will engage in behaviors harmful to themselves and others. For example, those who frequently binge on alcohol are more likely to engage in risky behaviors, including using other drugs, having sex with six or more partners, and performing poorly in school.
- When teens who started using alcohol before 15 years reach adulthood, they were 5.6 times more likely to report having alcohol use disorder in the past year.
- Teens hospitalized for alcohol-related injuries are more likely to die within 10 years.
A summary of the harms caused to young people through alcohol marketing includes:
- Early-onset of alcohol use.
- Higher amounts of alcohol consumption.
- More high-risk ways of consuming alcohol.
- Shaping positive attitudes, expectancies, and judgments towards alcohol products.
- Determining brand allegiance and loyalty for an entire life.
- Detrimental effects of early alcohol use that carry on to adulthood.
Chivas Regal x Lisa targets young women
Chivas regal x Lisa is also specifically targeting young women. The campaign is an example of Big Alcohol’s ongoing strategy to get more women to consume their products. A recent research article reveals that alcohol companies are now moving away from sexualizing and demeaning women, to the appropriation of feminist and equality messages. The ad campaign embodies this Big Alcohol strategy by partnering with Lisa, a self-made successful young woman. While the messaging is not directly of feminism the undertones are obvious. For example, media reporting about the campaign has exentuated that Lisa is the first female partnership for Chivas Regal in Asia.
Movendi International is continuously exposing Big Alcohol tactics to appeal to women, including pinkwashing and marketing alcohol as a gender equalizer – efforts to exploit the women’s rights cause for private profits.
Campaigns such as the one by Chivas regal are not only hypocritical for aligning with women’s empowerment when it suits them but also unethical considering the specific harm alcohol products cause to women, including higher susceptibility to addiction from lower amounts of alcohol and breast cancer. Women and girls are still exposed to epidemic levels of domestic and intimate partner violence – often driven by alcohol.
“I Rise, We Rise”: An example of Big Alcohol’s profit maximization strategy in the 21st century
The campaign tagline is cynical considering the only thing rising from this marketing campaign is Chivas Regal’s profits and Lisa’s income – and alcohol harm in young Asians.
In view of the detrimental effects of alcohol on young people and women, it is disappointing for a popular celebrity such as Lisa to be marketing alcohol. It goes against her ethos of being a positive role model for other young people who are working hard to achieve success. Alcohol robs the youth from young people, limits their success, and is an obstacle to development.
Lisa’s decision to partner with Chivas Regal has sparked an outcry back in Thailand. It has been termed hypocritical, considering the Thai alcohol policies which ban alcohol advertising with the aim of preventing alcohol harm to young people.
Chivas Regal x Lisa is an example of Big Alcohol’s strategy to target today’s youth and women and exploit their value systems to push more alcohol products in the pursuit of ever more profits.
Yahoo News: “Chivas Partners With LISA, Bringing The Worlds of K-Pop and Scotch Together“
Vogue: “K-pop star LISA slips into new role as Chivas Regal’s ambassador for the hustle generation“
Chivas Regal: “Chivas x Lisa“
South China Morning Post: “Lisa from Blackpink’s Chivas Regal adverts cause a stir in Thailand, where sharing them on social media could land you in jail“
Lifestyle Asia: “Blackpink’s Lisa is the new Chivas Regal Asia Brand Ambassador“
Luxuo: “Blackpink’s LISA Is Chivas’ First Asian Female Represent“
Thai Inquirer: “‘Legal loopholes’ exposed as Blackpink’s Lisa becomes whiskey brand ambassador”
Harpers Bazaar: “LISA Is Chivas Regal’s New Brand Ambassador In Asia“