Most people in the modern era relate beer to being manly, with thousands of male college students belligerently beer drinking to create memorable nights that they most likely won’t remember. This thought of manly beer comes from advertising. Dos Equis advertises their beer by the means of an older gentleman drinking their product while being surrounded by beautiful girls, definitely not directed towards the female population. While Budweiser and other American beer companies advertise their product with young attractive girls, dressed rather scantily, posing in front of a beer or next to a man drinking a beer, very seldom is one of the women actually shown drinking or holding a beer can/bottle. These companies specifically target men, since they are considered the usual drinkers of beer. However, before the 1980s beer was advertised differently, with less of an emphasis on “manly”.
The first advertisement is of Carling Beer. It is a large picture attached to the side of a trailer. The ad itself is rather simple, with only three objects and three words. The three objects are a glass full of beer, a beer bottle with the Carling label on it, and a plate with spaghetti on it. The three words are “people like it”. The creator of this ad purposefully made it simple. The idea is that the average person simply enjoys the beer with their meal. There is nothing complicated about having the beer with your dinner. Also the Carling label on the beer is centered directly in the middle of the poster. People’s eyes are drawn toward it, allowing the viewer to immediately comprehend the product and the producer. The words, “people like it” is located to the right of the beer can in plain white letters. The phrase emphasizes the enjoyment of drinking Carling beer, the same way people enjoy eating spaghetti. Overall, the ad is meant to be simple with the idea that beer is meant to be enjoyed; it doesn’t need any complex material to enhance the flavor. This is rather different from modern commercials, nowadays many beer companies are trying to come up with complex bottles or flavors that are suppose to improve the experience of drinking beer. For example, the vortex bottle from Miller Lite, which states their bottle produces a smoother flow of beer from the vortex in the bottle. It seems to me, that the simplistic style is more effective technique and would appeal more to the common man.
The next ad is for Budweiser beer. It’s a large poster showing two women sitting across from each other enjoying Budweiser. This is very different from modern beer commercials because it is advertising directed towards women. The two women look as if they are having a very pleasant time and a deep in conversation. There is a caption above the two women which says, “Something to talk about” which makes the viewer assume that the two ladies are discussing the beer that they are enjoying. At the bottom of the page is the dominant feature of the poster, which is a caption that states, “Budweiser everywhere.” The main purpose of the poster is to show the two ladies enjoying themselves while drinking Budweiser. In return, the viewer assumes that drinking Budweiser leads to a pleasant conversation starter and provides for a good time. This is an appeal to pathos, since it is trying to draw upon the emotions of the viewer. It also appeals to logos in the fact that the Budweiser brand name is the dominant feature of the poster, allowing the viewer to instantly determine the brand of beer.
The last ad is for Coors Beer. Much like the modern Coors commercials, this ad focuses on the quality of the beer. Both the modern and past ads tend to emphasize the fact that their beer is brewed with “pure rocky mountain spring water”. This statement is right beside a picture of a picturesque nature scene, making the beer seem fresh and of high quality. Once again, the main focus of the poster is the title of the company. This logo is very prevalent in many advertisements, since it allows the viewer to quickly identify the company. The poster appeals to ethos, but instead of trying to elicit an emotion, the creator of this ad is trying to display to the viewer that Coors knows how to best produce beer in a natural way. This is shown by the statement of brewed with pure rocky mountain spring water and the picture of nature in the background, making it seem as if the producers at Coors have found the right formula to create the finest beer. There also is a statement underneath the Coors title, which states, “America’s fine light beer.” By not saying finest, Coors isn’t technically lying to the viewers, but still makes it seem as if Coors has the best beer in America. This is just another reference to their ethos appeal and how they know how to create the finest beer, making the viewer more likely to purchase Coors beer.
For beer advertising, the audience that companies are trying to appeal to has changed over time. In the modern era, beer companies usually generate advertisements geared toward the younger male population, showing pictures of young men drinking beer surrounded by young beautiful women. Before the 1980s beer advertisements was directed toward a broader audience. Some ads tried to simplify beer, stating that it was just an enjoyable product much like spaghetti which anyone could enjoy during a meal. Others tried to advertise toward women, showing pictures of women enjoying beer while engaging in pleasant conversation. Some would even focus on the superiority of their product by showing the quality of their ingredients, such as pure rocky mountain spring water. And in all of the past advertisements, it is demonstrated as a mild enjoyable drink rather than a wild party drink, which is what most advertisements nowadays try to express with their ads.
Budweiser. “Something to Talk About–Budweiser Everywhere” [AAA6498]. Advertisement. 22 July 1934. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
Carling Beer. “People Like It” [AAA9828]. Advertisement. 1960. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. AdViews. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.
Coors. “Brewed With Pure Rocky Mountain Spring Water” [AAA9940]. Advertisement. 1960. Duke U. Rare Book and Manuscript Lib. AdViews. Web. 1 Dec. 2014.