Beer In Ads #2039: The Man In Black Shoots Pool


Tuesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s playing pool, excuse me, billiards, while wearing a tuxedo. He’s eyeing his next shot, and holding a beer in his hand. This is the last one of this series of ads I was able to find. There may be others, but these are the only ones I found. I also discovered that they were all created by an Australian illustrator named John McCormick at Kling Studios in Chicago. McCormick created the ads using a technique known as scratchboard, which is “both a medium, and an illustrative technique using sharp knives and tools for etching into a thin layer of white China clay that is coated with black India ink.” Uncle Ron was an intern at the studio in 1954 and met McCormick while he was there, and tells the story in his Uncle Ron’s Blog. Unfortunately it’s the only information I could find at all about McCormick’s amazing art.

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And while I couldn’t find an image of the entire ad larger then the one above, I did find a larger detail of part of the ad centering on the man in black.

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Beer In Ads #2038: The Man In Black Listens


Monday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, his activity seems a lot more passive, as he’s sitting on the floor in his smoking jacket, beer in hand of course, listening to his newfangled Hi-Fi stereo. He’s even left one of the records lying directly on the carpet, which is never a good idea. That’s how you get scratches.

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And here’s another version with a little more definition and color, but it’s a lot smaller.

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Beer In Ads #2037: The Man In Black Drives


Sunday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning against his Bentley, because what other kind of car would the man in black drive? I considered calling this the Man in Black Races, but really, he’s just leaning up against the car, and there’s a picnic basket on the ground by his feet. But then again the Man in Black Picnics didn’t sound too good either. Of course, there are other older, collectible cars behind his, so maybe he’s just attending a car show. They may have been starting to run out of ideas for this series.

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Beer In Ads #2036: The Man In Black Bowls


Saturday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s at the bowling alley. While I’m sure he’ll roll his ball down the lane at some point, right now he’s sitting down and scoring another bowler, with a beer in his hand, of course. Unfortunately, the only versions of this ad I could find were from black and white publications, so the signature feature — that only the beer is in color, making it stand out — so these don’t pop like the others. Best I can tell, they’re maybe in the third frame, and already he’s hitting the sauce, which is awesome, and just how it should be.

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Miller-High-Life-Beer-bowling

Beer In Ads #2035: The Man In Black Sails


Friday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1961. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s the captain of his own sailboat. He’s sitting at the helm, captain’s hat tossed aside, beer in hand. He’s going place.

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Beer In Ads #2034: The Man In Black Plays Chess


Thursday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1957. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s studying his next move in a chess match, beer in hand (presumably to help him think) and finger below his lip (also to help him think). I do love that tuxedo, though, I think I”m going to put mine on the next time I play chess. ANd drink a beer, of course.

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Beer In Ads #2033: The Man in Black Hunts


Wednesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1959. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s sitting on his lounge chair in his den, with a beer in one hand and petting his faithful dog with the other. There are four rifles sitting in an open, unlocked cabinet (what could go wrong?) but it’s hard to say if he’s just returned from the outdoors, or he hasn’t left. He’s wearing his trousers tucked into military-style boots, but then he’s also wearing a sweater vest. So it’s anybody’s guess.

Miller-High-Life-1959-dog

Beer In Ads #2032: The Man in Black Curls


Tuesday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1960. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s watching the sport of Curling. It originated in Scotland in the 16th century and spread to wherever Scottish people settled, like New Zealand or Canada. It looks the curling team he’s watching is wearing formal military uniforms, with loads of medals on their jackets. And not a few, but there are so many they must be weighing them down with the extra weight.

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Beer In Ads #2031: The Man in Black Rides


Monday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1958. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning on a saddle, in a stable. Although he looks more like someone who was just betting on the horses rather than the jockey riding them, but who knows. He’s certainly looking intently at something.

Miller-High-Life-1962-jockey

Beer In Ads #2030: The Man in Black Golfs


Sunday’s ad is for Miller High Life, from 1958. In this ad, one of a series featuring a nearly black and white ad, with only the beer in color, and the same man engaged in various activities. This time, he’s leaning on his golf bag in the clubhouse, apparently fresh off a round of eighteen, with a beer in one hand. He’s looking rather pensive, too. Maybe he didn’t shoot a very good round.

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