Saturday’s ad is by the Brewing Industry Foundation, from 1944, part of a series of ads the beer industry undertook during World War 2 under the title “Morale is a Lot of Little Things.” It was one of the first concerted efforts by the brewing industry after they were getting back on their feet after prohibition finally ended around a decade before. The series tried to show support for the troops and help with morale at home. And it must have worked, because the campaign won awards at the time. In this ad, a Coast Guard soldier is writing home about all the little things he misses, about carving pumpkins for Halloween or that a “cool, sparkling, friendly glass of beer is a sigh of satisfaction.”
Saturday’s Halloween ad is for Schlitz, from 1949. Part of Schlitz’s “I Was Curious” series, each employing a three-panel structure, this one takes place at a Halloween party. A man dressed as a bear spots a table full or Schlitz beer and was apparently thirsty enough to get a beer, forcing him to reveal himself by removing his bear helmet/mask to drink the beer, at which point, the bunny behind the table removes her rabbit head to reveal a fetching blonde, and the two appear to make googly eyes at one another. Which should mean the ad will have a happy ending. But in the first panel, the bunny was holding on onto a tray while a pirate poured beers into glasses, and then briskly goes off to deliver the beers to other guests at the party. That might suggest that he’s one of the hosts of the party, and possibly the bunny’s husband or boyfriend. So maybe this ad is racier than you might think at first glance. Perhaps we’re seeing the start of an affair?
Tuesday’s ad is for Blatz, a Halloween ad from 1947. Showing a smirking jack-o-lantern eyeing a full pilsner glass and bottle of Blatz beer next to it. Notice the plate of food below the main ad, with the glass of beer next to it? What exactly do you think that food on the plate might be? It’s lovely presentation, but what the hell is it?
I kept looking at those four spoof beer labels that I posted earlier today for Hoppy Halloween because they reminded me of something, but I couldn’t quite put my finger on it. Then it hit me: Wacky Packages, those weird parody stickers that Topps debuted in 1967. Like most eight-year olds at the time, they were quite popular with me and my friends. What I didn’t realize is that they’ve continued to make them almost ever since. The Wacky Packages Website has a complete listing of all the Wacky Packages put out over the years and Topps even continues to maintain a new “official” Wacky Packages website. Not surprisingly, there have been several beer spoofs done, the first one being the very first year. It was a spoof of Schlitz, then one of the most popular beer brands.
Later ones included most of the other popular national beer brands and a few originals, like Long Line Beer, from 1981. A search of the website revealed nine different beer brands, with some variations of Pabst and a few additional beer-related ones for other products.
Below is a slideshow of all of the beer-themed Wacky Packages I found, including one of port wine just because I liked it and a few that are only beer-related.