Society nowadays seems to have a feverish romance with the desire to pass off responsibility for one’s actions on a plethora of fabricated marketing pandemics that plague our society. And yes, there are legitimate diseases, chemical imbalances and so forth that may cause people to do things they never intended to do. However, there are also adults out there who are hell bent on pushing off the responsibilities for their behaviors on things such as television ads, social media and even the Lord of Darkness himself...Satan. And while there are a number of contributing factors as to why we as societal patrons do the things we do, including being “seduced” by very persuasive marketing, the idea of placing the blame solely on a particular form of mass communication or other seemingly strong influential vices comes across as outright irresponsible. It seems a bit far fetched to suggest that one’s drinking habits were caused by the exposition of a few alcohol ads....you know...”Facebook made me do it!”
But according to thefix.com, there are some studies that may suggest otherwise. Can Facebook ads really cause someone to drink? Well, to suggest such a claim outright may be an oversimplification of the study’s findings. What do we mean? Long story short, a study was conducted using 121 participants who agreed to engage in an exercise that would expose them to a series of specific ads over a period of time with the incentive being a gift card from either a bar or a coffee shop. One group of participants was shown a series of beer ads and the other group was shown a series of water ads. When asked what card they’d prefer to take as their reward for participating in this study, 73% from those exposed to the beer ads chose to take the bar cards as did 55% of the participants from the water group. Coincidence? Were the ads causing elevated interests in alcohol simply because of its over promotion? Or is it simply that people just inherently prefer alcohol over coffee? Is there a “cool factor” to alcohol that makes it more appealing? Does alcohol naturally just have that appealing draw to would be consumers? Could there actually be something to this? Well according to the group conducting the study, it is worth noting saying, "Results show that seeing an alcohol ad on Facebook is sufficient to elevate individuals’ interest in visiting a bar where alcohol is available," they wrote. "Our findings highlight the alarming nature of alcohol advertising in social media."