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Portrayal of Alcohol Brands Popular Among Underage Youth on YouTube: A Content Analysis

Primack, Brian A. and Colditz, Jason B. and Rosen, Eva and Giles, Leila M. and Jackson, Kristina and Kraemer, Kevin L. (2017) Portrayal of Alcohol Brands Popular Among Underage Youth on YouTube: A Content Analysis. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs, 48 (5). pp. 654-664. ISSN 1938-4114

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Objective. We characterized leading YouTube videos featuring alcohol brand references and examined video characteristics associated with each brand and video category.

Method. We systematically captured the 137 most relevant and popular videos on YouTube portraying alcohol brands that are popular among underage youth. We employed an iterative process to codebook development. We coded variables within domains of video type, character socio-demographics, production quality, and negative and positive associations with alcohol use. All variables were double coded, and Cohen’s κ>0.80 for all variables except age, which was eliminated.

Results. There were 96,860,936 combined views for all videos. The most common video type was “traditional advertisements,” which comprised 40% of videos. Of the videos, 20% were “guides” and 10% focused on chugging a bottle of hard liquor. While 95% of videos featured males, 40% featured females. Alcohol intoxication was present in 19% of videos. Aggression, addiction, and injuries were uncommonly identified (2%, 3%, and 4%, respectively), but 47% of videos contained humor. Traditional advertisements represented the majority of videos related to Bud Light (83%) but only 18% of Grey Goose and 8% of Hennessy videos. Intoxication was most present in chugging demonstrations (77%), while addiction was only portrayed in music videos (22%). Videos containing humor ranged from 11% for music-related videos to 77% for traditional advertisements.

Conclusions. YouTube videos depicting the alcohol brands favored by underage youth are heavily viewed, and the majority are traditional or narrative advertisements. Understanding characteristics associated with different brands and video categories may aid in intervention development.


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Item Type: Article
Status: Published
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Primack, Brian A.bprimack@pitt.eduBPRIMACK0000-0002-5962-0939
Colditz, Jason B.jbc28@pitt.eduJBC280000-0002-2811-841X
Rosen, Eva
Giles, Leila M.
Jackson, Kristina
Kraemer, Kevin L.
ContributionContributors NameEmailPitt UsernameORCID
EditorWoods, Michelle S.m.woods@pitt.edumig67UNSPECIFIED
Date: 21 September 2017
Date Type: Publication
Journal or Publication Title: Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs
Volume: 48
Number: 5
Publisher: Alcohol Research Documentation, Inc.
Page Range: pp. 654-664
DOI or Unique Handle: 10.15288/jsad.2017.78.654
Schools and Programs: School of Medicine > Medicine
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Alcohol, Intoxication, Social media, YouTube, Qualitative methods
ISSN: 1938-4114
Official URL:
Projects: ABMRF, The Foundation for Alcohol Research
Article Type: Research Article
PubMed ID: 28930052
Date Deposited: 28 Sep 2017 13:57
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2018 05:15


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