Saturday’s ad is for “Rheingold Beer,” from 1946. 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 ad, which ran in December, is introducing the new Miss Rheingold for 1946, Rita Daigle.” She was born in New York, July 31, 1927, and started modeling when was seventeen (lying about her age) and was Miss Stardust of 1944 and Queen of the 1945 Photographers Ball. The same December she was crown Miss Rheingold, she married a well-known singer, Jimmy Saunders, who sang with Harry James, among others, and co-wrote songs with Frank Sinatra. Her modeling career both before and after 1946 was fairly robust, with her appearing on the cover of such magazines as Cosmopolitan, Life and Vogue. In this ad, from October, she’s putting the finish touch on her freshly carved jack-o-lantern as she lights the candle. This is presumably before putting in her window, as it appears in yesterday’s newspaper ad.
Monday’s ad is for Michelob, one of the brands created by Anheuser-Busch as a draft-only beer in 1896. It was first packaged in 1961, and its distinctive teardrop bottle won a design award the following year. But that was replaced in 1967 “for efficiency in the production line,” but reverted to a traditional bottle in 2002. This ad is from 1970, and features a bottle of Michelob dressed as a ghost for Halloween. The punchline, or at least the answer to the tagline, is “all the other spirits would be out of business.” Funny. Not true, but funny.
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?