Bet you never knew National Wine Day or National Drink Wine Day were actually things. That is — until your Facebook feed told you to belly up to the bar. (As if you needed anther excuse to grab the Sauv Blanc tonight.)
And it’s likely you listen: A new Michigan State University study found that when people simply saw Facebook ads for beer versus bottled water, they wanted to knock back a cold one.
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Scroll, Scroll, Sip?
In the research, published in the Journal of Interactive Advertising, people were exposed to alcohol or water ads via Facebook (they saw both brands that they knew and unfamiliar ones). They were then quizzed on their attitudes about alcohol. Later, they were given the choice if they wanted a gift card to a bar or coffee shop as a reward for participation.
If you’re saying, ‘bring on the free booze,’ you’re on the same track as the peeps in the study. Seventy-three percent of people who viewed the beer ads opted for the bar credit. As for the control (water) group, a nearly equal number of people went for the coffee and bar cards. (Note: People who’ve had a risky drinking past were more likely to say they intended to drink after seeing the ads.)
Of course, a promise of happy hour can seem more enticing than plain old agua. But here’s why it’s important: You’re not completely aware you’re being primed to drink. Though, the researchers are careful to point out that merely choosing a gift card doesn’t show that people are actually drinking more later.
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The Facebook FOMO Effect
Here’s another potential concern with #boozing: When you post that margarita pic, it pushes your cocktail hour straight to your friends and coworkers — and your little cousin, the researchers note on the press release. And how much a person likes, shares or comments on boozy status updates is also linked to a desire to drink, found another article by the same research team published in 2015 in the journal Mass Communication and Society. Translation: When it looks like everyone else is drinking, it makes it seem more acceptable for you to do it, too.
That said, you can’t control your friends’ pics — or the ads for booze that may randomly pop up in your feed. Just know that this may be one factor of many influencing you to imbibe.