Wednesday’s ad is for Blatz Beer, from 1945. It’s a simple ad showing an attractive woman glancing up at some mistletoe hanging above her, with an expectant expression on her face. But what I love in this ad is at the bottom, what is perhaps the best approach to not being the best-selling beer since Avis declared themselves to be number 2, insisting “we try harder.” Blatz marketed themselves as “Fast Becoming America’s Favorite.” Quite a lot of wiggle room in that one.
Monday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from the 1950s. Even though I grew up in the “tradition-rich East” Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, having been in California for almost thirty years I’m a tad offended at Miller’s implication that there’s no traditions out West. But given that odd holiday spread that the lady in red is putting out, I’m not so sure about her having a “special touch of gracious elegance.”
Wednesday’s ad is another for Rheingold Beer, this one from 1955, and features Miss Rheingold from that year, Nancy Woodruff. In this ad, she’s out caroling and brought a buddy along to hold the lamp so she could read the music in the cold winter night. He looks like he’s paying attention to the music, but she appears to be looking at us, while ignoring the book of Christmas carols she’s holding. Maybe she has them all memorized?
Tuesday’s ad is for Rheingold Beer, from 1944, and features Miss Rheingold from that year, Jane House. It looks like she’s wearing a tree skirt for a dress and best I can figure she’d essentially holding up a sign (or perhaps a calendar?) saying “Seasons Greetings,” which is also the tagline for the ad. Seasons Greetings? Isn’t this ad over fifty years before the wingnuts started claiming there was a war on Christmas if you didn’t say Merry Christmas? Where was Bill O’Reilly when this was going down? Seasons Greetings everybody.
Monday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1958, and begins Holiday Time, when we’ll feature holiday ads throughout the month. This one is from Bud’s “Where There’s Life” series and shows a happy woman whose face is bright and aglow (light from the yule log perhaps?) holding an open jewelry box. Was the necklace she’s wearing possibly what had been in the box only moments before? An unseen is pouring her a fresh beer, while a large ornament just behind her is shaped like a watch and reads “Holiday Time.” What do you think Bud was trying to say in this ad? Subtle.
Friday’s ad is for Schaefer, from 1948. If you’re a fan of “Blazing Saddles,” you’ll recall that Harvey Korman’s character was “Hedley Lamarr,” and in the film everybody kept calling him “Hedy” enough that he was always correcting them in an exasperating way. After a conversation with Governor William J. Le Petomane (played by director/writer Mel Brooks), Hedley corrects him. “It’s not Hedy, it’s Hedley. Hedley Lamarr.” Brooks replies. “What the hell are you worried about? This is 1874. You’ll be able to sue “her.” Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born actress who came to Hollywood in 1936. A few years later she patented a “Secret Communication System,” for a process known as “frequency hopping,” but which today is more often known as “spread spectrum” and is used now to make mobile phones and the internet work, specifically “Bluetooth, COFDM (used in Wi-Fi network connections), and CDMA (used in some cordless and wireless telephones).” But in the 1940s, she also did ads for Schaefer beer.
Thursday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1956. It was a Thanksgiving ad for Schlitz, starting with the ad copy “Lighten the Fun!” And how do we lighten the fun, you may be wondering. Well, “For Thanksgiving … add Schlitz!” Of course, why didn’t I think of that? Hmm, I also wonder what whoever wins the wishbone will wish for? Happy Thanksgiving.