September 3, 2009

The Beer that Made Milwaukee Famous and other Vintage Commercials

A couple of years ago, Brian O'Reilly and I were on a "ridewith" when he told me about
Beer Blast by Phillip Van Munchen. It details the history of beer from a marketing perspective.
It was out of print, but Lance Romance found a copy for me.
I hadn't had time to get into it till I went away.
I got through about 1/2 the book on my way to Traverse City. I couldn't put it down.

I knew of Schlitz as an "old time" beer but I had no idea what a huge player it was in the mid century beer wars. By 1973 it was the 2nd lager in the land next to Auggie Busch's Bud.

Here's a great "disco" commercial from the Commodores featuring Lionel Richie in 1979...at which point Schlitz's sales were way down. Miller has passed them. The chapter is actually called "Schlitz Slits its Wrists." Credit to Gordon Grubb who told me about tons of vintage beer commercials available for viewing enjoyment on youtube.

After viewing about two dozen of them...i see different phases. They focused a lot on quality earlier on. By the late 70s into the 80s- it turned to a lot of endorsement. Various actors, and sports players were now advertising their "favorite" beers.



Here's a few more
Schlitz brings the party. ""Real gusto in a great light beer"



Schaeffer with Louis Armstrong:

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