Tuborg Zero has a commercial, but no product

Alcohol companies create a product which shares the same logo as the alcohol brands they want to promote and, since they cannot, legally, promote the alcohol brand; it's the surrogates which are promoted.

Anant Rangaswami December 20, 2014 09:22:56 IST
Tuborg Zero has a commercial, but no product

"Tuborg Green is our core product and the chief member of a large family of beers known for their own distinctive aromas and personalities such as Tuborg Black, Tuborg Lemon, Tuborg Lime Cut and Tuborg X-fresh. However, thanks in part to the new ring pull cap, which was first introduced by Tuborg, Tuborg Green is known for its ease of use and for its particularly light and refreshing taste," says the tab "Tuborg Product" on Tuborg's official global website.

There's no mention of Tuborg Zero, a non-alcoholic malt beverage in their list of products.

Tuborg Zero has a commercial but no product

There's no mention of Tuborg Zero, a non-alcoholic malt beverage in their list of products. Reuters

In India, Tuborg is bottled by Carlsberg, and has no India site. Perhaps Tuborg Zero is a product made only in India, so we need to check on Carlsberg's India page.

"Carlsberg Green, Carlsberg Elephant, Tuborg Green, Tuborg Strong , Palone 8". This is the list of all the products manufactured and marketed in India by Carlsberg India Private Limited.

So why are they 'marketing' Tuborg Zero, a product that doesn't seem to exist?Why do they have a commercial for Tuborg Zero which debuted on prime time television last week?

[Update: Tuborg clarifies, "Tuborg Zero, a non-alcoholic malt beverage has been launched in the Indian market by Carlsberg India earlier this month and is already available in Mumbai, Hyderabad and Pune. In addition, the Company is also in the process of launching the product in other markets in India. Tuborg Zero is available in 500ml bottle and has an MRP of Rs 100/-. The campaign was rolled out on Friday, June 15th, to support the launch of Tuborg Zero".]

That's because, thanks to the Cable Television Network (Regulation) Amendment Bill, advertising alcoholic beverages is banned in India since September 2000.

Yet, the marketing of 'alcohol' abounds - through the establishment of surrogate 'products'. Alcohol companies create a product which shares the same logo as the alcohol brands they want to promote and, since they cannot, legally, promote the alcohol brand; it's the surrogates which are promoted. We've seen them all - Kingfisher promotes the Kingfisher calendar, Royal Challenge promotes golf events that they sponsor, as does Chivas Regal, Royal Stag sponsors cricket teams, Teacher's has their Achievement Awards, Smirnoff the Fashion Award, and so on. 'Mineral water' is another common surrogate.

But at least these brands make some clumsy and rudimentary effort at creating and investing in a surrogate so that there is a semblance of legality to their communication appearing for public consumption.

In Tuborg Zero's case, there is no such attempt. There's no surrogate product that you can find on their international website or on their India website.

Search for "Tuborg Zero" on google - and you get zero.

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