Sparking outrage by shrinking the size of its white Zinfandel to 50cl bottles helped Blossom Hill reach more people on Facebook than any other alcohol brand, exclusive research for The Grocer has revealed.

The wine brand achieved almost 30,000 interactions in one month with the strapline ‘the best things come in smaller packages’, prompting around 600 fans to disagree and call for the size to be increased.

This is part of our Alcohol Report 2014.

Other players also took the less-is-more approach with both Jack Daniel’s and Stella Artois using simple product shots to drive engagement, winning them 19,000 and 13,000 interactions respectively.

“Alcohol is now 45% more affordable than it was in 1980, but the UK has seen a gradual decrease in alcohol consumption,” says Steve Sponder, MD of content marketing agency Headstream, which carried out the research.

“The alcohol brands are desperately trying to decrease these dwindling figures and one way they are eager to reach the consumer in a competitive market place is through placing branded content on Facebook,” he says.

The most popular way for a fan to interact with an alcohol brand is to ‘like’ a post, with these totals being considerably higher than shares or comments.

“These alcohol brands appear to appreciate both the strengths and weaknesses of the borrowed media channel and adapt their strategy accordingly, more than likely employing tactics of paid media to promote well-performing posts,” says Sponder.

Alcohol’s top five alcohol posts:

Blossom Hill 50cl

1. Blossom Hill (271,683 Facebook followers)

‘The best things come in smaller packages’

Likes: 27,279 Shares: 1,697 Comments: 686

Size matters for Blossom Hill fans. With almost 30,000 likes one would be forgiven for thinking the addition of 50cl bottles to the Blossom Hill range were a hit among drinkers, but in fact the visual resulted in around 600 desperate pleas for the brand to increase the bottle size instead of decreasing it. Even so, the post encouraged positive sentiment and brand advocacy, winning Blossom Hill the award for the top-performing piece of content.

Jack Daniels FB post

2. Jack Daniel’s (630,647 Facebook followers)

‘The original rock & roll’

Likes: 17,116 Shares: 1,599 Comments: 338

A simple shot of Tennessee’s famous whiskey on top of a black and white backdrop of a musician toting a guitar case proves less is more for Jack Daniel’s. The simple but effective strapline ‘The original rock & roll due. Before rock & roll was invented’ garnered almost 20,000 likes and more than 300 comments from Facebook fans.

3. Stella Artois (7,098,794 Facebook followers)

‘One carafe: two chalices’

Likes: 13,062 Shares: 327 Comments: 251

With more than seven million Facebook fans Stella Artois is doing something right. Another simple product shot, this time displaying the Belgian brand’s new Raspberry Cidre variant, resulted in more than 13,000 likes, despite the actual bottle being noticeably absent.

Carling Cider

4. Carling (167,448 Facebook followers)

‘Win a case of cider in exchange for ten engagements’

Likes: 2,685 Shares: 1,899 Comments: 1,118

Offering monetary gains in exchange for social engagement is the crafty way Carling increased its reach. The brand achieved the highest number of shares of the best-selling alcohol brands by giving away one case of British Carling Cider for every 10 likes or shares its content received – a sure fire way of getting more eyes on the brand.

Strongbow shed

Strongbow shed

5. Strongbow (562,190 Facebook followers)

‘If only all sheds were like this’

Likes: 7,545 Shares: 924 Comments: 856

An image of a shed tucked away at the end of a garden containing nothing but two cider pumps and a couple of bar stools prompted thousands of Strongbow fans to upload pictures of their own homemade shed-cum-bars. The content resulted in earned media for the brand by encouraging fans to share their own photos, while others vowed to set about building their own.

This is part of our Alcohol Report 2014.

Alcohol BrandFollowersLikes (1)Comments (2)Shares (3)Total EngagementsCombined Score
Blossom Hill 271,683 27,279 686 1,697 29,662 33742
Jack Daniels 630,647 17,116 338 1,599 19,053 22589
Stella 7,098,794 13,062 251 327 13,640 14545
Carling 167,448 2,685 1,118 1,899 5,702 10618
Strongbow 562,190 7,545 856 924 9,325 12029
Bacardi 7,955,657 1,073 1,949 192 3,214 5547
E&J Gallo (Gallo) 89,799 1,555 1,374 353 3,282 5362
Grouse (The Famous Grouse) 240,220 2,530 316 167 3,013 3663
Hardys 54,198 649 34 259 942 1494
Kronenbourg 102,565 875 66 90 1,031 1277

Methodology: Content marketing agency Headstream, the agency responsible for delivering the Social Brands 100 for the last four years, compiled a ranking based on the number of interactions incurred on individual pieces of branded content posted across Facebook within a period of one month (September 7 – October 7 2014). For the purpose of this report, an ‘interaction’ was deemed either a like, share or a comment. They then weighted each type of engagement due to their value to the brand; awarding one point for a like, two for a comment and three for a share to arrive at a total combined score. Headstream monitored Britain’s top selling alcohol brands as defined by IRI.

In association with:

Headstream logo 600