A night on the town is full of marketing moments for alcohol brands.

‘Nightlife photographers’ exist to create what are essentially marketing images, paid for by alcohol companies and the venues that sell their products. When you tag and share these images on social media you are linking the brand with a series of images about what is fashionable, ‘hot’ and ‘cool’.

Club night 1
Club night 2

Free work for alcohol companies.

By posing for, tagging and sharing images taken in venues by ‘nightlife photographers’ you are carrying out free marketing work for alcohol vendors and brands. Your image also becomes marketing material which those who commission it can use as they wish.

Marketers use the term ‘Brand Activation’ to describe the ways in which they embed brands within cultural events and practices such as music festivals, gigs and club nights. Carah and Shaul (2015) describe ‘Activations’ as a way of organising consumers and what marketers call ‘cultural intermediaries’ (such as bloggers, musicians, stylists - essentially trend-setters) who produce flows of images that link the brand to scenes, people and objects that are highly sought after by groups of young people. The ‘Activation’ (such as music/club/festival event) is a ‘set’ for the production of advertising images. Consumers tagging and sharing these images online is a marketer’s dream.


Carah, N., & Shaul, M. (2016). Brands and Instagram: Point, tap, swipe, glance. Mobile Media & Communication, 4(1), 69-84. http://mmc.sagepub.com/content/4/1/69.abstract