Since the dawn of advertising, creative beer marketing has always found its way onto billboards, print, radio and, of course, the television. While the beer commercial of today has focused more on sexy women and music licensing, the beer ads of yesteryear strived for a more unique approach to the subject.
From jingles and mascots, to humor and a little bit of naïvity, classic breweries in Michigan knew a thing or two about creating a beer commercial. After scouring YouTube for some of favorite classics, we’ve culled together a small list of a few of our favorite Michigan beer advertisements from days gone by.
Goebel Beer – “Surreal Abstract”
Brewed in Detroit from 1873 to 1964, Goebel Beer was known as a tasty light lager that differed from its competitors. The same can be said about this Michigan beer commercial, as it is probably the most unique of all the spots we’ve assembled here.
Hamm’s – “The Land of Sky Blue Waters”
Frankenmuth Brewery’s German beer brethren, Hamm’s became famous for their jingle and their bear beer mascot. Introduced in the early 1950s, the jingle heard in the video that appears here hints that the brew tastes like “lakes and sunset breezes.” While we prefer our beer to taste like… well… beer, this commercial is pretty great anyway.
Stroh’s Beer – “Lost at Sea”
If we were ever stranded at sea, we could imagine living off water and some of our Michigan beer. It could work out, right? The people in the Stroh’s ad department in the 1970s had the same thought of their product as depicted in this classic beer commercial. Don’t worry if you were stuck with us on a boat. We wouldn’t be as annoying as these jokers.
Schlitz – “Tuna!”
While it may not be a Michigan beer by birthplace, many Detroiters have adopted Schlitz as their own since it was once owned by the Stroh Brewing Company. Continuing with our ‘70s era beer commercial sea theme, this ad reminds you that “you only get one crack at life so you look for all the gusto you can.” Are they talking about beer or fish? You decide.
Old Milwaukee Beer – “Log Rolling”
Although associated with Milwaukee, Stroh’s also owned this brewery before it was sold off to Pabst, making it forever connected to the Mitten State. Yet, they didn’t let go of Old Milwaukee before creating this amazing beer commercial called “Log Rolling.” Depicting some good ol’ midwestern boys fighting over beer, this commercial’s acting isn’t superb, but the slowmo ending sure is.
The beer commercial has become as iconic a piece of brewing history as kegs, hops and the brewery itself. When viewed in retrospect, these ads have become part of popular culture and remain just as vibrant as they were back in the day, even if they are a little goofy. Grab a Michigan beer or two from Frankenmuth Brewery to celebrate these classic advertisements by watching them and remembering a simpler time.