October 8, 1965: For the Economy-Minded Reader of Taste

I’ve shared a number of ads from the October 8 issue of LIFE. It’s a pretty interesting issue otherwise, as well, because it teaches you how to make beans and cassoulet, and about Hawaii, and something or other about China that I forget, and there’s this very touching article about a guy searching for his brother in Vietnam.

I gotta get some new issues; I keep reading the same ones over and over again!

Anyway. Was belt-tightening on the minds of the people? 

This is a nice approach, though I question the model choice. They’re like, “We’ve got this, okay?” And they don’t really apologize for not playing to the single malt crowd.

These people were playing to their own choir; just keeping their hand in, to mix up some metaphors into one awkward cocktail. They want you to think of yourself as the guy holding the glass. He’s got class, but also sense. I, in fact, don’t want you to think of yourself as that guy, because he looks like he’d seduce you with gentle words, then tie you up with a plastic clothesline so he can spank you while complaining about his mother. 

Apparently you can mix up stuff from Minnesota, put the name of a different country on the label, and proudly proclaim you’ve nailed Kentucky tradition. Because of the water there. Dude, they got limestone in New York, too. (And that is actually partly why their drinking water is freaking delicious.) But anyway, it’s just ridiculous over-the-top ad copy, and if Orson Welles had read it, he’d have slapped these people down but good. Just say it’s as cheap as your tonic water and be done with it. Serving up a TV dinner on the good china fools nobody. Speaking of which…

Gosh, honey, how did you make each one look so perfectly identical?

To digress for a moment, have you ever looked into the history of why mass-produced American beer tastes like such utter crap?

Here’s why.

Wait. Did they actually say "on the rocks???"

They tried desperately for years to get American women to drink more beer, so they watered it down, sometime after World War II, I forget the details. I think Budweiser was the first. They were all, man, people think we’re still German even though that was our great-grandparents who are all dead now. How do we sell more beer? And so. In the 50s & 60s, they tried to appeal to women. (If you’re old enough, you know who they turned their attention to in the 70s…)

It didn’t work fantastically at first, so they sort of repackaged the product to make it seem “special,” so women would want to drink it as something unique. All that really happened was alcoholics like my dad drank even more of it than before, because it took half a case to get the buzz going. Well done, Schlitz and company!

Back on the flipside of the economy coin, Remington laughed and said, “Plebeians.”

“Keep drinking your single malt and shave with this, Mr. Telephony Engineer. Chicks will want to touch you.”

Everyone else was a bit confused by the ad copy and started using disposables.