Saturday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, from 1958. By “Small Talk,” they really mean small print, which A-B claims “the tiny printing on the label tells you exactly what makes Budweiser so good.” But I can’t take my eyes off of the two long red nails poking out of her hair. I know she’s just running her fingers through her hair as she’s being poured a beer — I mean, I always do that, don’t you? — but they just look a bit creepy and wrong, for no particular reason. Are they two adjacent fingers or is there one in between the two visible ones? Are those nails fake? They sure look fake. They seem too long, and remind me of devil horns. Okay, I’ve clearly been staring at this ad for too long.
Friday’s ad is for Budweiser, from the 1950s. Ah, I remember when bowling night was something millions of people participated in. It used to be extremely popular, and my Aunt’s husband owned the Paramus Lanes in New Jersey, which is where they used to shoot a television show called “Make That Spare.” There was a time, believe it or not, when bowling was the most popular sport on television. I bowled a lot when I was a kid, played in leagues, entered tournaments and even had New Year’s Eve parties at the local lanes. For a short time in high school I dated a girl who was on the girl’s bowling team, and spent a lot of time bowling. Anyway, bowling seems to have really dropped off a cliff in popularity and was even used as a metaphor for the 2000 book “Bowling Alone,” about the collapse of community in America. I do so love the old bowling team shirts, though, and used to pick them up a thrift shops when I find cool ones in my size.
Friday’s ad is still another one for Budweiser, again from 1916. This is one is part of a series from the same year, with the two from the previous days being the three I know about. This one has the headline “Honored in Its Home Town and Famed the World Over.” The copy mentions that the “Saazer Hop Flavor” was “exclusive,” which seems very strange. And for that matter, when did we stop calling them “Saazer” and drop the “-er?” Like all of the ads, it ends with “Budweiser Means Moderation.”
Thursday’s ad is for another one for Budweiser, also from 1916. It seems like this is part of a series from the same year. This one has the great headline “The Better the Hops the Better the Beer Flavor.” Like yesterday’s ad, the parting shot is “Budweiser Means Moderation,” which was part of a strategy to convince people that beer should be spared that the brewing industry adopted far too late to stop the 18th Amendment from being ratified, establishing prohibition in 1920. Needless to say, it was too little, too late, but it’s a cool ad.
Wednesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1916. There’s some great copy on this ad, beginning with “Every Glass a Handful of Health.” According to the ad, “Each drop of Budweiser is alive and sparkling with the vital energy of Northern Barley and the tonic vigor of Saazer Hops.” Apparently it’s also the “unchallenged sovereign of bottled beers,” which must have been a precursor to A-B declaring themselves the king of beers.
Monday’s ad is another one for Budweiser, this one from 1910. The headline is “The Wise Trainer of Athletes,” but that’s just the start. It continues. “The Wise Trainer of Athletes Knows that the moderate use of a mild stimulant is beneficial to his charges. The vast majority of such men recommend Budweiser Because it is nourishing and refreshing and quickly relieves the tired feeling that may result from physical activity.” My son Porter just joined his middle school’s track team, but I think I’ll hold off on adding beer to his workout regime, at least for now.
Sunday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1913. Showing an idyllic suburban porch setting, with a tray of beer bottles, and this question. “Where’s more real enjoyment? The shady home-porch, a comfortable chair, a good cigar or pipe, a congenial friend, and a cool, refreshing bottle of Budweiser.” Apparently, in 1913, the St’ Louis brewery was producing 3 million bottles each week. But I wonder how many people in 1913, well before the post-war suburban boom that occurred after 1945, even had a porch like this one?
Friday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1905. At least it’s not just yachting. The full tagline is “The Pleasure of Yachting, Golfing, Fishing, Camping Is Incomplete Without Budweiser.” But since this particular ad’s illustration is aboard a yacht, I have to wonder if there are companion ads on a golf course or campsite. Either way, the ad is certainly going for the outdoorsy demographic circa early 20th century.
Wednesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1910. After fighting a muskie fish you’re “mad and sweaty” you’ll want a beer. But I love their description of Budweiser. “It’s alive with the strength of the finest barley grown in the New World and the tonic properties of the finest hops grown in the Old World.” The “tonic properties” of hops?