Given that it has acquired a status as the favourite teen tipple,
some might argue that Hooper’s Hooch is a controversial product.
Manufacturer Bass Brewers, however, is likely to defend it to the hilt,
given that it has been one of the beverage success stories of the
Launched in June 1995, Hooper’s Hooch Alcoholic Lemon was the UK’s first
drink of this type and has become the most successful brand in this
Each bottle is made with the juice of one whole lemon, and the alcohol
content is 4.7 per cent. More than two million bottles of Hooch are sold
each week via almost 90,000 licensed outlets, and the brand now accounts
for almost half of the flavoured alcoholic beverages market. The brand
is now global, being exported to over 30 countries.
Recent brand innovations include the launch of Hooper’s Reef, a still
alcoholic fruit drink. And Bass has said its three most recently
launched products - Caffrey’s, Carling Premier and Hooch - now account
for over a quarter of the group’s profits.
Even though Hooch is popular with the under-18s, Bass positions it as a
fun drink for young adults, and this is reflected in its sponsorship of
comedy on Channel 5.
The adspend for Hooch in 1999 has increased sharply to pounds 1.75
million compared with a surprisingly small spend of pounds 250,000 in
the same period in 1998. The increase reflects a dramatic change in ad
strategy - the brand is now promoted largely on TV and radio, instead of
using press and posters.
In the first nine months of 1998, the national and regional press,
together with a number of glossy magazines, landed a total of pounds
254,679. That has shrunk in 1999 to just pounds 16,288. Outdoor only
earned pounds 5,000 of spend in 1998, but got nothing at all in
This year, Hooch suddenly became a major television advertiser, spending
pounds 1.72 million in the first nine months - it had spent nothing on
the medium last year.
The brand has advertised on more than 50 different television regions or
channels including Sky 1 (16 per cent of TV spend); LWT (14 per cent);
ITV Central (8 per cent); Channel 4 London (6 per cent); Channel 4
Midlands (4 per cent); and Sky Sports, Channel 4 North West, ITV
Scotland and ITV Yorkshire, all at 3 per cent each. In total, ITV picked
up pounds 690,000, Channel 4 gained pounds 493,000, Astra received
pounds 424,000 and Channel 5 landed pounds 109,000.
Radio ads appeared on Virgin’s London and national stations, while the
brand’s limited press advertising in 1999 was placed in The Grocer, OK!
and Loaded. In 1998, Hooch used the tabloid press and glossy magazines
such as Cosmopolitan, FHM and Maxim.
Direct mail activity in 1999 has included the mailing of a Hooch Nation
seven-inch record, with text inviting recipients to enjoy a cool bottle
of Hooch as they listen to the music.
Research by Media Monitoring Services, tel: 01344-627553