FOF #1847 – The Strange History of Advertising Booze

Aug 20, 2013 · 104502 views

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When it comes to advertising alcohol, companies used to highlight the product’s qualities, but then they ditched that, in favor of focusing on people the consumer could identify with. Now it’s just horses farting in a chicks’ faces. What happened?

Today, comedian Sean Flannery joins us to talk about the strange history of advertising booze- How companies went from bragging their beer was the cheapest, to using hunks and athletes to sell their brand.


  1. Than says:

    A correction on the Exxon Valdez oil spill. “Nothing like this had ever happened before.” In fact, the Exxon Valdez spill is only the 35th largest tanker spill. The largest, almost eight times larger, occurred a decade earlier than the Exxon Valdez. There were 12 larger tanker spills that occurred in the years prior to the Exxon Valdez. There was a tanker spill in Morocco in the same year that was twice as large as the Exxon Valdez. These are only tanker spill statistics. There are also oil rig spills and pipeline spills. There are hundreds of oils spills of a certain size annually. The size and frequency of spills is on the decline, but we have seen epic disasters in recent years. The oil and gas industry remains a major ecological concern and a powerful political force.

    • I wonder if the way we think about the Exxon Valdez disaster has a lot to do with their marketing attention from all these disasters being more common than we think.

      • Than says:

        I think it has a lot to do with it happening on American soil and affecting Americans where they live. If it happens far out at sea or on another continent, Americans don’t pay any bother to it.

  2. Federico says:

    Great show and great ads!!! 🙂

    In Italy there is a liquor (not a beer, sorry) that has had stupid commercials for the last 30 years!
    They all go like this:
    – only men are involved in the commercial
    – there’s something that has to be saved (a horse, an ancient vase or even a musical band stuck on a raft in the middle of a lake)
    – once they save the day the men drink Amaro Montenegro hugging and looking at one another

    It could easily be the beginning of a gay porn!
    The video is the first commercial of this kind and was broadcast in the 1980s.

  3. Federico says:

    And here’s the latest one with the band stuck on a raft, how stupid is that???

  4. Wayne says:

    This is one of my favorite beer ads – more for the beverage as a whole, not a specific brand…

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