Monday’s ad is for Ballantine Ale, from 1948. Using the Ballantine logo of three rings in a circus themed ad, this was a typical ad formula during this time period. One oddity: Either that’s a really tiny glass or it’s a nearly bottomless bottle of beer, because the glass is full, but the bottle is still more than two-thirds, possibly as much as three-quarters, full. That’s an impressive bottle. That seems more like a magic trick.
Wednesday’s ad is for Ballantine, from 1968. I just watched the James Bond film “Thunderball” with my son this weekend, and this dark drawing of the scuba diver reminds me a bit of it, as if they’re invoking the idea or romance of James Bond to sell Ballantine. Thunderball came out in 1965, and was the most popular Bond film to date, so it’s possible, I suppose. But that tagline, “Stronger Bolder Taste Really Means Business!,” it seems to be mixing too many ideas, and just doesn’t roll off the tongue. And then there’s that other tagline at the bottom of the ad. “Ballantine Ale XXX has a taste you can feel.” Hmm, taste you can feel?
Monday’s ad is for Ballantine Ale, from the 1950s, I believe. To the question “Is This Something Special?” a couple of men sitting on a sofa at a dinner party, the other answers. “It certainly is … that’s Ballantine Ale.” I sure miss dressing up every time a few friends come over for a beer. Oh, wait. That never happened. But that would be special, wouldn’t it.
— was a lad in old Bagdad
He had a lot of luck
with a lamp he had
He rubbed that lamp—
a man came flyin’
and served him up some Ballantine.
You can steal Aladdin’s tricks
Lamp or no lamp this one clicks
Tuesday’s ad is for Ballantine, from 1961. While Ballantine may be one of the few American breweries in the 1960s making ales, this ad is for their Double LL, which was a “Light Lager.” You have to admit “Double LL” sounds better than light lager, even if it doesn’t quite make sense. Wouldn’t it just be “Double L” since “Double LL” would actually be “LLLL?” Either way, it’s “the ‘crisp’ refresher…”
Friday’s ad is for Ballantine, from 1947. In the background the three Ballantine rings are being used to play horseshoes, while in the foreground a man who’s a dead ringer for Will Rogers in a bow tie is reaching out for a beer. The tagline, “I’ll take Ballantine Ale,” neatly works as both slogan and as a description of what’s going on in the ad.
Wednesday’s ad is for Ballantine, from 1957. Showing a dinner party, or really a soup party, paired with buckets of Ballantine Ale. In a rarity for beer advertising, they’re touting the hops used to brew the beer, a British hop known as “Brewer’s Gold.” According to HopUnion’s hop varieties booklet, Brewer’s Gold was developed in Great Britain as primarily a bittering hop by a Professor Salmon in 1934. Ballantine refers to it as a “rare, choice hop.” And hop about this great tagline at the end? “Enjoy the genuine — it’s the trend, friend!”
Thursday’s ad is for Ballantine Ale, called “Preparing the Thanksgiving Feast,” it’s from 1953. The ad features a great illustration showing a cut-out of the interior of a home getting ready to serve a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. It’s not exactly how my Thanksgiving looked, but it’s close. What I really love is the poem below the illustration.
Thanksgiving Day is here at last …
The family’s come from far and near.
The kitchen’s smelling mighty nice;
And Dad’s got Ballantine on ice.
That’s the beer we like best …
Deep-brewed to meet the “icebox test.”
We chill the bottles thoroughly …
Flavor that chill can’t kill, you see!
Priceless. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!