An article in the latest issue of Marketing.ie describes how RED C Research undertook a product test for Brown Forman’s new Fire Eater brand.
The research company ran tastings and focus groups to test the appeal for Early Times Fire Eater, a 35% heavy alcohol/ethanol American whiskey liqueur, flavoured with brown sugar and cinnamon.
According to Red C;
The key market for the new product was the “pre-drinking” or “prinking” among 18-24 year olds. A typical pub product test would not work. To replicate the “prinking” and for respondents to consume the product in as natural environment as possible, we recruited young drinkers to host in-home parties, invite their friends over and sample the drink as they would do on a typical social night.
Initial reaction to the product was captured through video and photos recorded by those at the party. They were uploaded to the Red C portal to give reaction to the product captured in the right environment. The flow of the night was left to the participants to decide, allowing for natural behaviour to develop. All of this allowed for valuable insights into the ritual and behaviour during“prinks”
The Urban Dictionary defines Prinking or Pre-Drinking as;
The act in which one consumes alcohol prior to attending an event at which alcoholic beverages may or may not be served. Often popular with university or college students who can’t afford to buy too many drinks at a bar. Or high school kids who plan to attend events such as dances.
Brown Forman, already well armed with Jack Daniels, a big seller in the pubs among the young, are lining up another heavy alcohol product. This time aimed at youths, a younger sector than that for Jack Daniels
A question for Brown Forman; How does the strategy of targeting 18-24 year olds with sweetened heavy alcohol fit in with your Corporate responsibility philosophy regarding alcohol abuse among the young?
Questions for Red C
- Was there a limit on how much heavy alcohol the young drinkers could consume at the in-home parties?
- Was there anyone younger than 18 at these parties?
- Boys and girls, was it an equal split?
- The ritual and behaviour during “Prinks”, what sort of behaviour is that?
- How ethical is this form of research
- Does Red C have a code of Corporate Responsibility for research?