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How We Sell Beer Now

But things were different back in the day.
In 2007, consumption of beer in the US climbed to 22 gallons per capita. Riding the upswing, beer ads are humorous and clever.

But in the 1950's, beer -- with the image of being bloating and boorish -- had a hard time finding a market.

These beer commercials from many years ago have a very different vibe, don't they?

Milller: Sparkling Flavorful, Distinctive
In those tough years, Miller tried to spin beer as something classy and special. They pitched Miller High Life as the Champagne of Bottled Beer.

Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer
Now these are people who knew how to chillax!

The tavern setting has somewhat of a blue-collar feel but the guys are in suits and ties and the ladies have on dresses and make-up. And the beers are being served by a guy in one of those fancy restaurant outfits so beer must be snazzy stuff, right? After all, it won a Blue Ribbon, don't you know. Am I right, or am I right?

Schlitz: Grab for the Gusto

By the 1960's beer commercials took a different tack. Schlitz downplayed the merchandise and hyped a life of danger and adventure. Life was about grabbing for all the gusto or it just wasn't worth the trip at all.

This ad is a good example of the lifestyle marketing approach that Pepsi used to battle Coke. Notice that in this commercial, the product isn't mentioned until 40 seconds in.

Let it be Lowenbrau
Each beer brand staked out its territory. Schlitz was about living life to the fullest while Lowenbrau was about kicking back with family and friends.

The great Arthur Prysock sang the Lowenbrau theme song for years, adding a genuine dimension of class to the brand,

It looks like this particular commercial was shot in black and white but they ran out of money half way through the colorization process.

Hamm's: From the Land of Sky Blue Waters
Hamm's took a more confusing approach, mixing cartoon characters with couples dining elegantly, albeit in the middle of a river.

But the bottom line is that there's a lot going on in this 1950's vintage beer commercial. Too much going on here. W-a-a-y too much.

How well do you think the Dos Equis campaign might have worked in 1956?