Photovoice: Final Project

I went throughout the town of Ellensburg, WA looking for alcohol advertisements that enticed me to either purchase a drink or a bottle. As a college student, I do happen to have my fair share of times when I am a consumer of different types of alcohol. I also do fall victim to the creative advertising that the bars, taverns and restaurants around town have. These places base their “happy” hour around alcohol, and what they claim to be “cheap drinks.” When you think about it, they really aren’t. How healthy IS it? Well, to break it to you simply, alcohol just is not healthy in general. The goal of happy hour is to make you believe that alcohol will make you happier, and that happiness leads to a healthy life. When, alcohol is actually a depressant and truly doesn’t make you happier at all. The choices we have are endless, which makes it even harder as a consumer to say no. If you don’t like wine, well maybe you’ll like beer and if you don’t like tequila, well maybe you’ll like vodka etc. I think a part of the problem is the giant selection of alcohol. Without all those choices there may be less people to drink and purchase the products. Another reason why it is so easy to choose alcohol over other items is the pricing compared to healthier drinks. A 16oz Kombucha, a very well know health drink, costs almost as much as an entire bottle of wine and is just a little less than half the price of a half-gallon of vodka. Why would someone purchase the Kombucha to clench their thirst when a bottle of wine is almost as cheap and can clench their thirst more than just once? This makes it clear to me that these restaurants and stores have the upper hand on the consumers. Their skills for advertising and selling such an unhealthy product is outstanding. Most people, including health conscious people, understand consuming alcohol can be detrimental to their health yet, continue to drink it. The alcohol industry and those who purchase it are not going anywhere, so I do not see a change coming anytime soon.

Taking these photos and describing exactly what I saw behind the scenes lead me to how I am feeling now. As a consumer, it will be challenging for me to purchase alcohol going forward. I have an interest and great knowledge in health and know that it is not healthy. And with my information as a consumer, I know that alcohol offers no benefit to me if purchased. The alcohol business is all about money and buying and selling. With the lack of benefit all types of alcohol offer, it is shocking that this industry is still one of the largest and wealthiest trades. With my knowledge from this course I was able to take a step back and look at what consumers see as well as what the producers are thinking behind the scene. This gave me the ability to acknowledge both sides and produce a more honest PowerPoint with captions to my photos. If someone were to be exposed to this post, they would be able to see the other side of things as well. It may help them to think twice before purchasing alcoholic beverages or participating in a happy hour. Or, possibly they will try to recreate a project like this of their own. That would help them to get behind the scenes on their own and truly see how marketing can impact what consumers view as “healthy” or attractive. For the general public, could help them to not only be more aware of alcohol advertising but other marketing schemes as well. My project could offer the public more awareness of how we are tricked into purchasing items we really should not.

Photovoice project

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