Bar Advertisements



  • Overview
  • Audience
  • Reach/Frequency
  • Benefits
  • Costs/Limitations
  • Examples
  • Scheduling
  • References


Bar advertising, which is also known as bar marketing or bar sponsorships, covers everything from posters and coaster to 3D displays and full motion digital ads. Other forms of advertising can include promotions including events and bar specials. Many alcohol companies chose to advertise in point-of-purchase locations due to low regulations. This means bars become attractive spots for alcohol companies to advertise (Howard, Flora, Schleicher & Gonzalez, 2004). Bar advertisements are almost always purchased by alcohol companies, more specifically beer companies. Therefore, advertising in bars helps drive sales not only for the advertising product, but for the bar itself.



The audience of a bar contains a large variety of age amongst male and female adults. Starting at 21 years of age to basically anyone older that still has a pulse, these bar attendees prove to have one thing in common: thirst. What really separates and narrows down the audience is location. Location plays a huge role in the audience of a given bar. For example, a bar located in a college town will receive a majority of its audience to be under 28 years of age. Models of color and cultural icons were often used in advertisements in bars to target different ethnic groups depending on different neighborhoods (Howard, Flora, Schleicher & Gonzalez, 2004). According to a recent Gallup poll, 67% of US adults drink. Additionally, 72% of people in the age of 18-34 drink, as compared to only 59% of people 55 and older. This data shows that bars are attracting younger crowds (Bar Customers, 2010).

Reach/ Frequency

The frequency of a bar is relatively high. Normally a bar is open every day of the week, but not everyone drinks every day. The average bar will receive a different crowd of people every day. The frequency of a bar advertisement could be high if the bar has many loyal customers who only prefer to do their drinking at one particular bar. Even so, the average bar attendee does not drink everyday or even every other day. So generally the advertisement in a bar would have a low frequency.


Advertisements in bars can be very effective given that, normally, people within the bar atmosphere are there to do one thing: drink. Since the audience is already selected and gathered at a given location, advertisements help influence what brand to quench their thirst upon. These advertisements come in many forms, making them assessable to almost every inch of the bar. They can easily be applied to custom bar wraps, branded bar ware, coasters, window clings, table tents, table/bar clings, and the newest thing: napkins. Bars are a highly social and highly trafficked areas, which allow advertisements to capitalize on these advantages. People tend to be in a more pleasant mood when socializing at the bar, which increases positivity towards the advertisements. When an advertisement is located in a bar, it reinforces the brand recognition and the consumer is seeing the product when they are deciding what they want to buy (Howard, Flora, Schleicher & Gonzalez, 2004).


Placing an advertisement is a first come first serve basis. The owner of the bar will pick and choose or employ someone to place the prop on display. Costs vary depending on type and size of advertisement. Posters can cost between $20 to $200, while signs that light up can cost between $40 to $400. Limitations of these advertisements, unfortunately, are restricted to only within the bar premises. Many bars gain sponsorship through beer companies in which they would receive free merchandise for placing advertisements in their bar. In this case, the bar would receive multiple different types of advertisements.


Advertisements found in bars normally contain either a picture of the beer, brand name, or a model holding or wearing something associated with the brand. It could be something as simple as the beer bottle stand alone with ice around it. The simplistic view of just the bottle as you would normally find it can be enough to trigger someone to order it as their next beverage. Usually women are involved in bar advertisements, wearing revealing clothing or little to none. Women catch the eye of men and for a long time have been used as a tool of advertising. Kevin Underwood, a 52 year old man at the bar doing research on single males and the bar atmosphere said "It is the women that drive the men to the bars, not the beer and booze. It would make perfect sense combining the women with the beer; it's just about all you can find here." Posters or signs include a catch phrase or some type of caption promoting the great taste of this particular type of beer.

This is an example of a fashion show sponsored by Bud Light in a bar. Bud Light posters are noticeable on the wall as well. This type of events are used often and are almost always sponsored by an alcoholic brand or product.



Advertisements in bars come and go with the seasons and holidays. The will change themes accordingly to the date. In summer the advertisements will promote with sunny weather and beach themes. During holidays such as Halloween they may be presented in costumes. This example illustrates how the advertisement may change to fit the present time or upcoming event. St. Patrick's Day is an interesting holiday for beer companies. The brands recognize this holiday to be one primarily revolved around drinking. They are able to use specific promotions to reach the thirsty audience on this day with green beer.


Companies Using this Advertising

As stated, most companies that advertise in bars are alcohol, specifically beer, companies. This includes Anheuser-Busch, MillerCoors, Heineken as well as many others.

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Bar Customers: Plenty To Go Around. (August 16, 2010). Restaurant Hospitality. Retrieved from

Dobbins, Krissa. Advertise, Sponsor, & Exhibit. The Mississippi Bar. 2010. <>

Howard, K., Flora, J., Schleicher, N., & Gonzalez, E. (2004). Alcohol point-of-purchase advertising and promotions: prevalence, content, and targeting. Contemporary Drug Problems, 31(3), 561-583. Retrieved from Academic Search Complete database.

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Underwood, Kevin. Researcher. Interviewed 12:30ish on Thursday 04/08/2010 at Bent Willeys Bar.

W.M.I. Bar Advertising & Marketing. CT, NY, TX. 2010 <>