Friday’s ad is for Hampden Mild Ale, from the 1950s. Hamden Brewery was located in Massachusetts. I’m not sure that troubadour singing “Enjoy Yourself, Enjoy Yourself” from atop a beer barrel would make anyone want to drink their beer, but who knows. The tagline at the bottom is pretty interesting. “The First Truly Mild Ale in America.” I wonder who true that was?
— 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
Wednesday’s ad is another one for Schafer, this one from 1973. It shows just one grand glass of beer in a mug on a bed of ice, , with a can of Schafer beer next to it. Just like yesterday’s ad the foam looks just a little unnatural to me. Too perfect. And maybe this says more about me than the ad, but it seems a little phalic, or at least some sort of foam comb-over.
Tuesday’s ad is for Schafer, from 1970. It shows two grand glasses of beer in mugs on a Schaefer tray, although the foam looks just a little unnatural to me. Too perfect. And while I understnd the tagline “Every glass of Schaefer tastes the same,” I’m not as sure about the follow-up “that’s what makes it different.” That was pretty much he goal of every brewery.
Monday’s ad is for Pabst Blue Ribbon, from 1950. It’s one of Pabst’s “What’ll You Have” ads, but featuring a sports celebrity, George Mikan. In post-war America, Mikan was known as “Mr. Basketball” and was the Lakers’ center when they still played in a state with lots of lakes. He’s considered a pioneer of modern basketball, and retired as the all-time leading scorer. The NBA actually altered the rules of the game to reduce his dominance and he was directly responsible for the three-point line was and partially for the shot clock. And apparently he drank Pabst.
Friday’s ad is for Schlitz, from 1952. It uses their popular “If you love beer … you’ll love Schlitz” mantra that graced so many of their ads. But this one seems slightly odder. For example, I don’t quite get the animated discussion that appears to be centering on that red hunting cap. But perhaps more interesting is the bottom left corner, where they’re attempting to teach consumers that brown bottles protect beer better. And I thought that was a new tactic.
Wednesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1955. Showing scenes of two groups playing golf, 100 years apart, the 100 Years In America they’re referring to vaguely tied to being “still the National Champion of Quality.” They also make the connection that golf courses are unchanged, and the beer is unchanged, over that same century. And that must be one really tiny pilsner glass, as it’s been filled to the top, but the bottle is still half full.
Tuesday’s ad is for Budweiser, from 1949. It’s from their “There’s nothing like it …” series that ran for quite a long while. The ad copy, which begins “Your favorite partner, a delightful buffet …” seems quite odd, and possibly revealing. It continues. “Add foaming, babbling Budweiser and you have the finest sip-and-nibble combination ever known.” I don’t think they’re talking about the beer and food. I think they mean the predatory males hunting that poor woman just trying to have a bite to eat. Presumably they’re at a cocktail party at someone’s home. The person who gets a plate of food and retreats to the stairs is trying to be alone. But then these two circle her, blocking her escape route either up or down the stairs, each with a fresh beer in hand. The strained smile on her face and her posture — clasping her hands protectively around her skirt, unable to eat — seems to say ‘how long do I have to be polite before I can get away from these yahoos?’