Wednesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1955. Showing scenes of two groups playing golf, 100 years apart, the 100 Years In America they’re referring to vaguely tied to being “still the National Champion of Quality.” They also make the connection that golf courses are unchanged, and the beer is unchanged, over that same century. And that must be one really tiny pilsner glass, as it’s been filled to the top, but the bottle is still half full.
Tuesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1949. It’s from their “There’s nothing like it …” series that ran for quite a long while. The ad copy, which begins “Your favorite partner, a delightful buffet …” seems quite odd, and possibly revealing. It continues. “Add foaming, babbling Budweiser and you have the finest sip-and-nibble combination ever known.” I don’t think they’re talking about the beer and food. I think they mean the predatory males hunting that poor woman just trying to have a bite to eat. Presumably they’re at a cocktail party at someone’s home. The person who gets a plate of food and retreats to the stairs is trying to be alone. But then these two circle her, blocking her escape route either up or down the stairs, each with a fresh beer in hand. The strained smile on her face and her posture — clasping her hands protectively around her skirt, unable to eat — seems to say ‘how long do I have to be polite before I can get away from these yahoos?’
Monday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1959. It’s from their “Know the real joy of good living …” series, and shows a couple at a golf course. The woman is trying to write down her score on the scorecard , but she looks distracted by the shiny beer that the man is holding up. He almost looks like he’s trying to hypnotize her with beer. “You’re getting sleepy ….”
Today’s ad is a holiday ad for Cinco de Mayo, for Miller Lite, though I don’t believe it’s very old. The model reminds me of Sofia Vergara from Modern Family, though my wife assures me it’s not. Viva El Gran Sabor translates as “experience the great taste.”
Given that the holiday commemorates the Battle of Puebla, where Mexican forces defeated Napoleon III’s French army in 1862, it’s odd how America has turned it into such a party holiday. Business Insider has an interesting take on How Beer Companies Turned A Minor Holiday Into America’s Favorite Mexican Drinking Day. And while it may be a relatively minor affair in Mexico, here in the States it’s actually an “official” holiday, at least since 2005, when in June of that year, the U.S. Congress sent a proclamation to the President for him to sign “calling upon the people of the United States to observe Cinco de Mayo ‘with appropriate ceremonies and activities.’” Certainly this ad shows the amount of reverence we tend to show for what should be a more solemn holiday. Maybe that’s what Congress meant by “appropriate ceremonies and activities.”
Friday’s ad is another one for the U.S. Brewers Foundation, also from 1956. Part of the “Beer Belongs” series, but beginning in 1956 they stopped numbering the ads, and unfortunately the series ended within a short time. This ad features a couple that had been gardening, but then it apparently started to rain, ruining their plans for the day. But they looked on the sunny side, and decided “let’s just sit awhile” and enjoy a few beers. As the ad copy suggests. “Be glad for the excuse to relax a bit over a long cold glass of beer.” Amen to that. It sure beats gardening in my mind.
Thursday’s ad is for the U.S. Brewers Foundation, from 1956. Part of the “Beer Belongs” series, but beginning in 1956 they stopped numbering the ads, and unfortunately the series ended within a short time. This ad features a group of people camping by a lake with this great tagline. “Beer has its own friendly way of saying … ‘Come and get it.’” Indeed, “Beer Belongs — Enjoy it!”
Wednesday’s ad is for the Barley and Malt Institute, from 1959. This is the third ad I have from the now defunct trade group for barley growers. In this one a man is being delivered actual beer while watching beer on television. How meta. I love the expression on his face. According to the ad, “The goodness of Malt goes far beyond delicious flavor.” Beyond “Fun Flavor,” “malt renews your energy” and also has “important B-complex vitamins.”