Vintage Ad Archive: End-Of-Summer Vacation!
Mid-August is the home stretch of summertime, the dog days of heatwaves and ice-cold beverages, time to get out of town for a bit before Labor Day hits and school begins again. It's prime vacation season, when families pile into the car and set off for parts unknown, driving around the country in search of the perfect mix of leisure and adventure.
And thinking about it, that's the perfect excuse for me to head down to the climate-controlled basement archives to dig up a few more examples of all-time great liquor promotions – this time, a selection that's based around the theme of getting away and exploring the warm-weather wonders of America.
Summer Vacation has long been a huge part of American culture, so it's been an easy hook for advertisers. Some distilleries simply spent summers showcasing the many wonders that the good ol' USA has to offer, from sea to shining sea.
While other companies offered suggestions on specific ways to get away, and beat the heat with a beverage. One could enjoy vacation in the woods, going camping with your loved one and drinking a beer...
Or perhaps you'd prefer to tool around the country in your pop-top VW, stopping at a campsite to sip Smirnoff.
One could pause in a National Park, and soak up the splendor.
Really, it wasn't the destination that mattered, so much as the simple act of escaping the day-to-day grind for a moment.
But while many brands offered their own takes on vacation culture, nobody beat Seagram's, who issued an entire promotional booklet in the '60s, that taught consumers about the appropriate food + cocktail pairings for every vacation possibility.
And there are some very helpful hints inside this pamphlet, especially if one spends their summer break beside a lake in the Midwest...
Or visiting friends on the New England coastline...
Or hopping over to Hawaii for a taste of the island lifestyle.
If that all seemed to exotic, Seagram's offered helpful suggestions for what to eat and drink down on the farm...
And how one could bring some down-home flavor into everyday summertime life, with a square dance in your own backyard.
The booklet's centerfold even gave "a drink sipper's view of the American vacation scene", with a special gin-centric map, so readers could plot their path according to cocktail preference.
So, as you can see, the options are fairly limitless if you wish to plot your own retro-styled drinking vacation over these last few weeks of the season. As for me, my bags are already packed, and I'm on my way out the door for a few days of leisurely imbibing in exotic locales – I'll return soon, with another round of materials for your boozy viewing pleasure!