Friday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1942. This ad was made for the Rheingold Brewery, which was founded by the Liebmann family in 1883 in New York, New York. At its peak, it sold 35% of all the beer in New York state. In 1963, the family sold the brewery and in was shut down in 1976. In 1940, Philip Liebmann, great-grandson of the founder, Samuel Liebmann, started the “Miss Rheingold” pageant as the centerpiece of its marketing campaign. Beer drinkers voted each year on the young lady who would be featured as Miss Rheingold in advertisements. In the 1940s and 1950s in New York, “the selection of Miss Rheingold was as highly anticipated as the race for the White House.” The winning model was then featured in at least twelve monthly advertisements for the brewery, beginning in 1940 and ending in 1965. Beginning in 1941, the selection of next year’s Miss Rheingold was instituted and became wildly popular in the New York Area. This is the first ad I’ve found announcing the contest, and while it’s obvious it’s for Rheingold Beer, it’s a minor element in the ad. The headline is “How would you like to win $3,000 in cash and war bonds and a trip to Hollywood (war conditions permitting) as Miss Rheingold 1943.” Then the text, published in August, gives more details about the contest. For example, entries must be in by September 12 and the winner will be announced between October 31 and November 7. I think with this ad, Rheingold began truly opening up the contest to anyone, because both of the first two Miss Rheingolds were already working models and actresses, and 1942’s seemed to be only from the New York area.
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