Alcoholic beverage industry reacts to new legislation with ads in Turkey

Alcoholic beverage industry reacts to new legislation with ads in Turkey

June 1, 2013

The new legislation passed by the Turkish parliament ten days ago, which not only prohibits selling alcoholic beverages between 10:00 pm and 06:00 am but also set their advertising options essentially from “limited” to “none”, sparked negative feedback from the secular Turks.

Well, no one here can consider that feedback as a surprise, because the secular republican portion of the Turkish population is in a state of ‘social clash’ with the islamist portion since the rise of our current Prime Minister Mr. Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to power little more than 10 years ago.

What is really surprising, however, is the reaction of the alcoholic beverage industry, which was previously unheard of.

This legislation was not the first thing our islamist rooted government imposed on producers and exporters, actually it might be considered as a finishing blow of a series of acts, such as multiple increases in taxes that guarantees higher cost for consumers and some other limitations on promotions. Probably because they now think they have nothing else left to lose, for the first time in this decade, industry chose to react. Still in a rather mild tone, I might add.

Here are what came out so far.

Efes Pilsen

Efes Pilsen is the largest brewer in Turkey. They produce millions of liters of beer every year. They also have several establishments abroad, such as Russia.

Brand used their regular bottle without the labels on their highly successful campaign, which carried out on print and social media. Please don’t let the word ‘regular’ fool you here, Efes Pilsen’s bottle is as iconic as Coca-Cola’s bottle in Turkey and its unique shape and color represents the visual definition of beer for everyone (even for non-drinkers).

Copy on the ad translates as “We are together on the same table, same conversation and same feelings for 44 years. We know each other, even without sight”. They have also used their well-known line “The beer is under this cap” on the ad, but with a reversed bottle cap this time.

Efes Pilsen's reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Yeni Rakı

Our traditional drink raki is still by far the most popular spirit of choice in Turkey. And, Yeni Rakı, with its roots going back to the establishment of the Turkish Republic, is the oldest and most preferred raki brand around. It is now part of the British multinational alcoholic beverages company Diageo, though.

In their campaign, which cites the traditions and the jargon around raki, they say “Per our courtesy, we don’t ‘just leave’ without asking for permission. Because we know; coming together again renews our friendship and conversation. As it always been in past 500 years…”

“Yeni” means “new” in Turkish. Which makes references to being “renewed” in the copy used is more than just coincidence.

Yeni Rakı's reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Doluca Wines

Doluca is one of the most popular wine brands in Turkey. They are also probably the largest producers and exporters of wine here, too.

In their black-ribboned advertisement, they say farewell and “For 87 years, we accompanied lots of your memories with our wines, which we are compassionate about and proud of. We always toasted with wishing ‘may our worst day shall be a day like this one’… For us, the full half-side of the glass is, even we know that we won’t be able to reach you here anymore, knowing that we’ll still be with you in your most precious moments…”

Doluca's reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Yazgan Wines

Yazgan may not be the biggest Wine producer in Turkey, but they sure are quite popular here. In their simple ad they choose to symbolize the ban with a prison bar made of wine bottle necks. Copy says “See you later”. Emphasize on the “görüş” (seeing) is a reference to a phrase used for prison visiting days in Turkish.

Yazgan's reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Wine Producers Society of Turkey

Wine Producers Society of Turkey, which represents the collective will of the prominent wine houses in the country, also released an ad which gives a brief history of wine in Anatolia, in an emotional way. Highlighted text can be translated as “7000 years old Anatolian wine is now entrusted to you…”, but what it actually tells is more like “the fate of the Turkish wine will be in your hands now”.

Wine producers' reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Olmeca Tequila

The Olmeca is the most popular choice among tequila lowers in Turkey. In their ad named “A last shot…” they actually tell that this is not an end. Copy translates as “This may be our last shot here. But every end is also a beginning. From now on, we’ll be seeing each other in every place where there is joy, cheer and friendship”.

Olmeca's reaction to the new alcohol ban in Turkey

Credits for Efes Pilsen

Advertiser: Efes Pilsen Turkey
Advertising Agency: TBWA\Istanbul
CCO: İlkay Gürpınar
Creative Director: Volkan Karakaşoğlu
Creative Team: Gökhan Akça, Güney Soykan, Orkun Önal, Alpan Esen, Kerem Tüten and Sungu Hacışabanoğlu
Brand Team: Ebru Eğilmez, Chris Direduryan and Büşra Şeftalicioğlu
CSO: Toygun Yılmazer
Strategic Planning Team: Tuğyan Çelik and Nisan Danışman
Media Agency: Time
Media: Print, Online

Credits for Yeni Rakı

Advertiser: Mey
Advertising Agency: Brand The Bliss
Media: Online

Credits for the rest will be added in the future.

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