Beer In Ads #2074: What Do You Know About Voting?

Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “What Do You Know About Voting?,” in which how different people experience their right to vote, are explained. There are two weeks to go until arguably the most important election in my lifetime. So I thought it might be important to know everything about it. Luckily, Schlitz has all the answers.


Beer In Ads #2072: There’s A Surprising Difference In Hobbies

Sunday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1939. In this ad, entitled “There’s a surprising difference in Hobbies,” which details many ways in which people like to relax, by collecting things or playing with model trains (like my son). But the second half of this double truck ad is devoted instead to “There’s an amazing difference in beers!” But for that there’s much less variety. Spoiler alert: it’s just Schlitz.


Beer In Ads #2071: Something On The Ball

Saturday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “Something On The Ball,” there are several sports using balls highlighted — golf, football, bowling and tennis, but baseball is the most prominent one, and since this ad ran five years before the last time the Chicago Cubs appeared in a World Series, I figured it was appropriate for today’s ad with them finally making it to the series this year. The ad finally comes around to tying it into Schlitz, by saying while the sports have “something on the ba;;,” Schlitz is so good it has “everything on the ball.”


Beer In Ads #2070: What Not To Do At A Picnic

Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “What Not To Do At A Picnic,” there are several humorous cartoons illustrating bad ideas that will ruin a picnic. Given that there are eleven cartoons, it’s sort of like a second comics page. But, of course, there’s an addendum suggesting the “Right thing to do.” Their suggestion? “Take along plenty of Schlitz!”


Beer In Ads #2069: Any Minute Now …

Thursday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1940. In this ad, entitled “Any Minute Now … It may happen to you!,” although the subtitle (which appears above the larger title) may go to the heart of the ad, and it reads “What Are Your Chances …” of at least four things occurring. This ad has an actual author’s byline, Herbert M. Alexander, along with a short resume, and then a two-page article about chance, statistic, superstition and luck, before naturally finishing up with how Schlitz fits into this line of reasoning, as a perfect accompaniment to such great occasions.


Ballantine’s Literary Ads: Ellery Queen

Between 1951 and 1953, P. Ballantine and Sons Brewing Company, or simply Ballentine Beer, created a series of ads with at least thirteen different writers. They asked each one “How would you put a glass of Ballantine Ale into words?” Each author wrote a page that included reference to their beer, and in most cases not subtly. One of them was Ellery Queen, who’s best known for writing a series of mystery stories.

Ellery Queen is not actually one person, but two: Frederic Dannay and Manfred Bennington Lee. They “were American cousins from Brooklyn, New York who wrote, edited, and anthologized detective fiction under the pseudonym of Ellery Queen. The writers’ main fictional character, whom they also named Ellery Queen, is a mystery writer and amateur detective who helps his father, Richard Queen, a New York City police inspector, solve baffling murders.” Today is the birthday of Frederic Dannay (October 20, 1905–September 3, 1982), and his co-writer, Manfred Bennington Lee, was born the same year (January 11, 1905–April 3, 1971).


Their piece for Ballantine was done as if it was one of their cases, but it was less a mystery and more a simple contrast of two unrelated events that both took place the same year. It seems a bit forced, actually, and comes across like pure propaganda, even more so than the other ads in this series.


1840: Edgar A. Poe was preparing to give the world its first detective story, “The Murders in the Rue Morgue,” an all-time classic marked by three great qualities: Purity of conception, full-bodied plot, and a style and technique of matchless flavor.

1840: Peter Ballantine created his unique ale and sampled his first brew. Setting down his glass, he exclaimed, “Purity!” A second sip made him exclaim, “Body!” a third, “Flavor!”

Edgar Allen Poe’s Tale, Peter Ballantine’s Ale — American classics with the same three great qualities. Even the Ballantine Ale trade-mark carries out the coincidence of “threes.” For the triple overlapping rings made when Peter Ballantine set down his moist glass on the table top created his 3-ring trade-mark. To this day it sets the standard for Purity, Body and Flavor to connoisseurs of ale everywhere.


Beer In Ads #2067: Who Said It First?

Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1939. In this ad, entitled “Who Said It First?,” nine well-known expressions (though to be fair, a few of them I hadn’t heard before) are given their origin stories, explaining where they came from, and then the ad ends with just one more, number ten. That last one is “The Beer That Made Milwaukee Famous,” yet curiously, the story doesn’t involve the Schlitz marketing department or ad agency.