Vintage Ad Archive: Stepping Into Springtime!

AlcProfSpringBrewersFound1953
AlcProfSpringBrewersFound1953

This was a Winter that seemed particularly vindictive, full of ice storms, bitter winds, polar vortexes, and slippery surfaces.  The last few months have given "wintry mix" a place right next to "last call" in my personal echelon of phrases I wish had never been invented, as I did my best to hibernate in the comfort of my apartment, bundled up with blankets and bottles of whiskey...  

But we've made it through to the other side.  Spring is upon us, full of flowers, birds, twitterpation, marching bands in the park, leaves appearing on the trees and color returning to the world.We've set our clocks ahead, and we're finally able to step outside, see friends, and relax on patios and porches.  We can once again enjoy picnics, gardening, and baseball.  Even better - we have more hours of daylight in which to sit back and enjoy delicious beverages!

So now, it's time to take another dig through my archives, and present you with some examples of how the alcohol industry has capitalized on the marketing opportunities offered by the changing seasons.

AlcProfSpringLaners1972
AlcProfSpringLaners1972

Gin is one of the liquors most associated with the onset of warm weather, and quite a few companies have used this to their advantage over the years.  A number of brands have run ads evoking the feelings and fashions of Springtime.

One of my favorites is a Hiram Walker campaign from the late '40s that convincingly illustrates the "daisy-fresh" qualities of their pre-mixed martini.

And the Fleischmann's company, not to be outdone, came up with an even more novel approach to presenting their brand as the lightest, cleanest, springiest of all gins.

AlcProfSpringFleis1960
AlcProfSpringFleis1960
Fleischmann's, 1962
Fleischmann's, 1962

Of course, Gin is just one of many options available for warm weather cocktails.  Distilleries know this, and have made sure to remind us that just because Winter is on the wane, we shouldn't neglect our old pal Whiskey.

In fact, Seagram's ran a number of beautiful (and brightly-colored) advertisements in the late '40s and early '50s based around the premise that Whiskey=Springtime.

The strong flavors and distinct character of Gin and Whiskey aren't for everyone, however.  Some prefer a more adaptable and innocuous warm-weather liquor, something to mix with juices and take on picnics.

Smirnoff, 1970
Smirnoff, 1970

And for those who aren't fond of hard liquor, but still wish to greet the new season with a drink in hand, worry not.  Beer works just as well as a springtime beverage!

A patriotic ad from the United States Brewers Foundation, 1953
A patriotic ad from the United States Brewers Foundation, 1953

Or one could just get some bottles of California wine, and invite some friends over to sit out in the garden for a good old-fashioned "chin-fest"  (as the Wine Advisory Board recommended).

AlcProfSpringWineAdvisory1942
AlcProfSpringWineAdvisory1942

Which seems like as good a place as any to conclude this round of booze-filled flashback.  Hopefully you've found it entertaining, and can draw some inspiration from these ways Springtime imbibing has been portrayed and promoted over the years.

As for me, I've spent enough time spent flipping through old dusty magazines for one day…  I need to get outside, find a patio, and enjoy a cocktail before the sun sets!