Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Black Label Beer Ad - Nov. 22, 1955

I guess I have a strange fascination with vintage beer ads, since I feature so many of them on a blog that’s supposedly about Lorain County.

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.


Ken said...

Don't back down to the millennials with their pumpkin spice microbrewery concoctions bro. Stick with Mabel.

Anonymous said...

I couldn't agree more with Ken. My Uncle always had a case of Black Label in the garage, my family preferred Stroh's. Wasn't there a Black Label plant on the west side off of 21st St.? I enjoy a cold Rolling Rock every now and then. Cheers!

Rick said...

While I'm not a big beer drinker, I have quaffed a few black Label Beers in my time and despite what your co-workers say it's not a bad beer. I've had much worse. During my time in Vietnam there were times when American Beer was not available and you had to resort to the locally brewed beers. We sometimes drank San Miguel Beer which was almost universally called San Magoo by servicemen. The beer was brewed in the Philippines and was not bad. Then there was 33 Beer, which was a Vietnamese beer. Even after an intensely hot day in the tropics you could not look forward to a drink of 33 Beer. Because the beer label had a tiger, the beer was commonly known as Tiger Piss. The quality was erratic, it tasted different each time you drank it, and the apocryphal story among GIs was that its "unique" taste was caused by Formaldehyde used during the brewing process. Whatever the brewing process, it was by far the worst beer I ever tasted. Interestingly, I recently had someone tell me that the Vietnamese had reconfigured the recipe and brewing process and were now exporting 33 Beer. Even more surprising, it got fairly good reviews. Have your co-worker beer aficionados try some and let me know how it tastes -- I don't have the desire!