Saturday’s ad is for Goetz Country Club Malt Liquor, from 1967. Goetz Brewing by this time had been bought by Pearl Brewing, and they were brewing the Country Club brand. The ad shows a small crumpled can of malt liquor on a black background. The ad refers to malt liquor as “a masculine cousin of the other brews” and “not a beer or ale.” But perhaps most hilarious is this. “Country Club’s special fermenting agent gives it a lively quality that, frankly, appeals mostly to men.” Way to cut off half the population to your product. That seems like a good idea, doesn’t it?
Timothy J. Holian says
Two snarky posts in a row about Country Club. What’s the point? It was in fact a very popular product in its day, one of the best-selling malt liquors at a time when it was positioned as an upscale brew (and in fact one consumed primarily by men). And with nearly national distribution already established, Country Club almost single-handedly kept the brewery in St. Joseph open, and good people in jobs, for at least a decade longer than likely would have been the case otherwise. (Pearl and Goetz certainly weren’t big enough sellers in that market at that point.) Obviously the brand and the brewer must have done something right. So how about setting aside the contemporary bias and giving them some credit instead of taking on a needlessly condescending tone? That approach doesn’t enhance the credibility of this site.
Jay Brooks says
The point is taking a look at how beer has been advertised over the years. And it often wasn’t pretty. As the number should have implied, I’ve been posting an ad daily for over seven years. I was being snarky about the ad copy, not the beer, although to be fair malt liquor is not high-quality beer. That was never its purpose. It was cheap to make, and it was positioned as a premium product, but it never was very good. People like all sorts of things that aren’t great, which is why we have Wonder bread and Kraft cheese. Just because something’s popular doesn’t make it a good product nor does it make it immune to criticism. I’m glad your town (I’m just guessing here, but I seem to have touched a nerve so that seems the best explanation why) prospered thanks to Country Club, but it really doesn’t change anything. These ads are over fifty years old, and I think it’s fair to look out how they tried to sell their product. Given the way this beer, and many others, marketed themselves, condescension is most certainly called for from time to time. When the ad agencies used meaningless phrases and buzzspeak in shameless ways, I do believe it’s fair to call them out on it. And these malt liquor ads most certainly do just that.
In my less-discerning younger days, I tried CC once & thought it was crap (same held true for Colt 45). Someone once observed: “There’s no accounting for taste” – same is true 50 yrs later.
I’ve always liked CLEVER ad campaigns, most of which had a humorous side like all those Guinness ads you’ve posted. Always have blown off flowery & overstated (some to the point of being close to bald-faced likes a la Koch’s “I brew the best beer in America” pitch for Boston Lager) ones.