Twitter and Buddy Media today launched a free tool designed to help alcohol brands market only to people of legal drinking age. Jim Beam, Jack Daniels and MillerCoors have been testing the feature over the last month, and other brands can now sign up to employ the feature.
When users attempt to follow a liquor, beer or wine brand on the social site, they will automatically receive a direct message on Twitter from the company, directing them to an age screening page. If they give an age that meets the requirement of their local drinking law, the consumers will be able to follow alcohol brands.
Andrea Javor, a digital exec for Jim Beam, sounded relieved that her company could now use Twitter as a marketing platform without worrying as much about attracting underage drinkers. Up until now, Javor said, her team has had to manually tweet to new followers to verify their age.
“So now that we have this, I think you will see a lot more activity from us across all of our brands,” she said. “I think you’ll see us doing more of the Promoted Tweets and Promoted Trends and other advertising on Twitter. We know that our [of-age] consumers are there. We know we need to be there."
Marketing online has long been seen as a potential minefield for alcohol brands since attributing age to consumers on websites is difficult. The emergence of popular social media sites like Twitter and Facebook—with the Federal Trade Commission doing its best to monitor alcohol companies—has further complicated things.
“We have been overly cautious on Twitter,” Javor explained. “We’ve done probably what I consider to be a very minimal emphasis in terms of funding and focus because they didn’t have that age gate in place. We are really excited that we have this greater level of confidence that we are reaching [of-age] consumers."