The two brands I’ve written about – Old Dutch and Carling’s Black Label – both had strong ties to the area since they were brewed in Northern Ohio. As a result, they seemed to run a lot of ads in the Lorain Journal in the 1950s.
The Black Label ad above ran in the Lorain Journal on November 22, 1955, two days before Thanksgiving. It features a great bottle illustration and of course, the lovely Mabel herself. It was part of a campaign that month that included the similar ad at left.
Carling’s Black Label is particularly interesting to me because of how it became so popular so quickly. The “Hey, Mabel – Black Label” tagline was brilliant in its simplicity, and the sense of fun and goodwill it generated. And even after Jeanne Goodspeed – the original Mabel in the TV commercials and ads – retired from modeling to start a family, the brand continued to cruise along successfully, using clips from her earlier commercials and even an animated Mabel in new ads. The beer's great taste and the memorable musical theme helped as well.
Anyway, I’ve taken a lot of abuse at work due to my lowbrow tastes in beer. Even recently, after I confessed that I had some Black Label in my fridge right now, a co-worker looked me straight in the eye and sternly stated, “Dan, it’s a bad beer.”
If I’m not careful, I’m going to find myself in the middle of a beer intervention.