It’s been several months since I’ve done a Top 10 list, primarily because it’s been too hard to keep up with them weekly. So I think I’ll try once a month instead. I’ve been collecting old beer slogans for a project (more on that later) and so I thought I’d pick my ten favorite ones. I should stress — though it should be obvious — that my choices are about the efficacy of the slogans themselves, regardless of the way I might feel about the beer itself. So for my 19th Top 10 List, I present my favorite beer slogans. Let me know your faves. Here’s List #19:
Top 10 Beer Slogans
|It’s what your right arm’s for. John Courage Beer|
|If you’ve got the time, we’ve got the beer. Miller|
|When You’re Out of Schlitz, You’re Out Of Beer. Schlitz|
|Guinness Is Good For You. Guinness|
|Fresh. Smooth. Real. It’s all here. Bud Light|
| The Happiest Taste In Beer Today. Gunther Beer
Gunther is an old brand from Baltimore, Maryland that hasn’t been around for decades. But I love the idea that beer can taste “happy.” What exactly does “happy” taste like? Being a west coast guy, I assume they just meant hoppy.
| Hey Mabel, Black Label. Carling Black Label
After a lackluster decade of poor sales, in 1951, Carling came up with the now-iconic Mabel the Waitress campaign, hiring New York actress Jean (sometimes spelled “Jeanne”) Goodspeed to play Mabel in TV commercials and print ads. Sales skyrocketed. In fact, they kept using her image long after she left the business in the mid-19500s to start a family and eventually even included an animated version in later ads. The Mabel campaign finally ended in the early 1970s. For me, I think what made the slogan was the whistle that precedes the slogan in television and, presumably, radio spots. Also, Mabel’s wink and a nod at the end of each ad is also priceless, even when they went to an animated version they wisely kept that element.
Below are two Black Label ads, one an original live action one followed by a later animated commercial. (Note, the sound starts late in the first one. Also, check out the maniacal look of the third bartender. What’s up with that dude?)
| Here’s to good friends, tonight is kind of special. Lowenbrau
This slogan is as much about the song as it is the words. It was sung by Arthur Prysock, an American jazz singer originally from South Carolina. Here are the lyrics and below them is a television commercial featuring the song from the mid-1980s, when the brand peaked.
| The Friendly Beer For Modern People. Reading Beer
I understand most people won’t know this one, because it’s a local favorite I grew up with in Reading, Pennsylvania. But beginning in the 1950s, they started trying to convince people Reading Premium Beer was not their Dad’s beer but was for modern people, a.k.a. young people, and that it was friendly. Like happy, I just love the association they’re trying to make to persuade people their beer is more friendly than other rival beers. To me, that’s just genius marketing. It’s not that other beers don’t taste as good, it’s just that ours is friendlier. Who wouldn’t want to drink a beer that’s friendly?
| The One Beer to Have When You’re Having More Than One. Schaefer
What’s not to love about this slogan? Simple, to the point, and with one of the catchiest jingles ever. It would probably never fly today, because neo-prohibitionists would immediately accuse them of encouraging binge drinking since in their addled little minds more than one already is too many. The video below is not the original version of the jingle, but a jazzier, cooler one. Enjoy!
It was, as always, really difficult to keep the list to ten, and a great many colorful beer slogans were left on the cutting room floor, mostly newer ones since I focused on older ones in the list above. Here’s a few more that might have made the list had I gone for more modern slogans:
Always a Good Decision. Samuel Adams; Drink in the World. Sapporo; Hooray Beer! Red Stripe; Life Is What You Pour Into It. Pyramid; Off-Cented Ales For Off-Centered People. Dogfish Head; You’re Not Worthy. Stone
And here’s a few older one I also like but didn’t have room for in the Top 10:
Always Smooth, Even When You’re Not. Keystone; The beer that made Milwaukee famous. Schlitz; Believe. Guinness; The Champagne of Bottled Beers. Miller High Life; For the man who really knows beer. Ortlieb; If I wanted water, I would have asked for water. Labatt Blue; It doesn’t get any better than this. Old Milwaukee; It’s what’s inside that truly counts. Dreher; When you say Budweiser, you’ve said it all. Budweiser; When you see the three-ring-sign, ask the man for Ballantine. Ballantine Ale
Let me know your favorites, and if you see any that you think should have made the list, please post a comment.
Also, if you have any ideas for future Top 10 lists you’d like to see, drop me a line.