Beer In Ads #2261: Doctors Say Drink More Schlitz


Saturday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1904. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz recounts how you need to drink “ten glasses of fluid per day,” and that most people don’t drink enough. So what, you may be asking yourself. But not enough fluids means “too little to flush the body of its waste. The result is bad blood, nervousness, disease.” That’s why “the doctor says ‘Drink more.”

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Beer In Ads #2260: Purity Is Free


Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1902. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, one of the earliest in the series, Schlitz is already talking about their purity, and what it means. In a nutshell, they’re saying they spend more on their process to insure it’s pure but sell it for the same price. What nice people to take a cut in their profits. “Not a beverage known to man is more healthful than beer, if it’s pure.”

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Beer In Ads #2259: Our Costly Brewing


Thursday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1903. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz details why each ingredient in their beer is so expensive or why their brewing and bottling process is similarly so expensive. For example, “Every bottle is cleaned by machinery four times before using,” which seems pretty inefficient. Why not just buy the machine that cleans the bottles properly the first time?

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Beer In Ads #2258: What Purity Means


Wednesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1903. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz finally explains what they mean by “purity,” a word they’ve been using seemingly non-stop. Whew.

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Ballantine’s Literary Ads: Anita Loos

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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 Anita Loos, who was an American author, best known for her popular book “Gentlemen Prefer Blondes,” was she adapted into a successful film, along with several other well-known screenplays.

Today is the birthday of Anita Loos (April 26, 1889–August 18, 1981), who was “was an American screenwriter, playwright and author, best known for her blockbuster comic novel, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. She wrote film scripts from 1912, and became arguably the first-ever staff scriptwriter, when D.W. Griffith put her on the payroll at Triangle Film Corporation. She went on to write many of the Douglas Fairbanks films, as well as the stage adaptation of Colette’s Gigi.”

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Her 1953 piece for Ballantine was done in the form of a short story about dropping a bottle of beer out her hotel window, somewhere with a cold climate:

It took an elevator man and a snowbank to show me how much I really appreciate Ballantine Ale.

One wintry evening I set a bottle of Ballantine on my hotel window ledge to chill. My only bottle — wouldn’t you know it? — toppled off into a snowbank on the rood next door. Immediately the thought occurred to me that the elevator man could climb out of a downstairs window and retrieve it.

But would he wade through the snow for a bottle of ale? My maid, Gladys, who evidently shares Lorelei Lee’s belief that diamonds are indeed a girl’s best friend, solved the problem by telling him I dropped a diamond bracelet, and he never learned the truth until he was standing in the snowbank with the bottle. At that, he seemed to think more of the ale than a bracelet!

I might add that I like Ballantine Ale because it refreshes me. And because it’s so light, it never takes the edge off my appetite. But most of all I like it because it has a flavor all its own that’s beyond anything else I have ever tasted.

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Beer In Ads #2257: Beer Keeps One Well


Tuesday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1904. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, filled with quotable adspeak, it starts out magnificently. “It is a noticeable fact that those who brew beer, and who drink what they want of it, are usually healthy men.” And I guess they’re saying you won’t be skinny if you drink beer, but they say it in a positive way, stating that you won’t find among beer drinkers and “wasted, fatless men.” And that’s because “beer is healthful. The malt and the hops are nerve foods,” whatever that means.

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Beer In Ads #2256: If You Knew


Monday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1906. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz is suggesting that if you’d visited their brewery and seen just how clean it was that you’d always order “Schlitz beer” to make sure you weren’t inadvertently served a “common beer.” But even if you do, make sure that the cork or crown is branded. Man, those were some unscrupulous times.

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Beer In Ads #2255: Purity


Sunday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1905. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz is still beating the drum on “Purity,” redefining it for the their advertising purposes, trying in effect to own the word. It seems unlikely that most other breweries at the time, especially the ones of equivalent size or success, weren’t taking the same steps in both brewing and keeping the process sanitary, but Schlitz was relentlessly trying to say they were the only one concerned about their beer’s “purity.”

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Beer In Ads #2254: We Spend More


Saturday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1907. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, Schlitz is once more extolling the virtues of spending more on “purity” than any other part of their brewing process. Before, I’d wondered how they;d even do that, but in this ad there’s at least somewhat of an answer. “We wash every bottle four times by machinery. We filter even the air in our cooling rooms. We sterilize every bottle after it is sealed.” And why do they do that? Apparently, it’s “Not to make the beer taste better, or look better.” In fact, they claim It’s “Not to secure any apparent advantage.” No, no, of course not.

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Beer In Ads #2253: Reputation


Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1905. In the first decade of the 20th century, Schlitz Brewing, then one of the largest breweries in the U.S. after the industry had shrunk from over 4,000 to around 1,500 in just 25 or so years, did a series of primarily text ads, with various themes. In this ad, which seems like the least effective of this series, they’re simply saying because they’ve been around fifty years and spend a lot every year on their beer being pure that the “result is world-wide demand.” Hmm.

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