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May 7, 2018 | by  | in From the Archives Opinion |
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From the Archives

Salient gets a lot of its funding through VUWSA, but the rest is made up in ads – creating and printing
a magazine isn’t cheap. Given the demographic, it’s unsurprising some of that ad space would go to
advertising alcohol in the past. I find the artwork of old beer ads incredibly charming, and I want to share that enjoyment by providing a sample of the beer ads from Salient.

#3 – Lion Brown, 1970
In a tried and true advertising technique, this ad preys on the easy target of masculine insecurity. It quickly establishes a potent cultural trifecta of “birds, Beatles, [and] poker”. Sgt. Pepper on the record player, cards on the table, and a bird on the arm – buddy, you’d best believe me and the lads are ready to neck some shit beer. The message is reinforced by the subtle interplay of the three archetypal beer ad characters: the Alpha, the Beta, and the Hot Woman. The Alpha character is who you want to be: he wears a suit, he has a good haircut, he eats singular saveloy sausages off a plate with a toothpick. Most crucially, he drinks Lion Brown. The Beta character does none of these things. He meekly proffers a plate of pickled onions, for which he is privately ridiculed by the Alpha and the Hot Woman. We can only presume that this man has never had a sip of Lion Brown in his life – just take one look at his moustache.

#1 – Waitemata Breweries, 1949
If we’re talking beer, we better be talking barley malt, hops, and yeast — otherwise we ain’t talking. This ad assures us that the fine products of the Waitemata Brewery have got ‘em all. You can be certain that
when you spend your hard-earned shillings on a can of Double Brown, it will technically contain all of the things that a beer conventionally contains. That’s a promise that’s as true today as it was in 1949. What more can you ask for?

#2 – Cascade Ale, 1938
A pale ale of Australian origin, Cascade currently boasts a dismal one-star average on the world’s
pre-eminent beer rating website, ratebeer.com. Its downfall may have coincided with the decision to ditch Jim Gentry as its mascot. This handsome gentleman projects an air of civility which is sorely lacking from the genre these days. Beer, we are left to deduce, is the thinking man’s drink. A hearty “cheers” to that Mr. Gentry.

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