Vintage Ad Archive: Here's To New Year's!
Ah, New Year's. It's a time of looking ahead, of fresh beginnings, of wiping the slate fresh and starting anew, once we all recover from our crippling hangovers.It's a time of fireworks, of celebration, of champagne toasts and Auld Lang Syne and confetti and little those little plastic and cardboard horns that some overly-jovial friend will insist on tooting incessantly until you want to throw your drink in his face.
And though New Year's Eve is historically one of the most alcohol-associated holidays, there have been surprisingly few ads based around calendar change-overs.As I explained in an earlier column, it's most likely because companies preferred to concentrate their end-of-year advertising budgets to the surefire blockbuster of Christmas (an occasion that provides plenty of easy visual hooks, and ask comes pre-packaged with weeks of lead-up, taking in shopping and office parties and other forms of boozable celebrations).But, once again, with a bit of hard work and a little luck, I've managed to emerge from my archives with a small batch of materials that have used New Year's as their selling point, and assembled a modest gallery for you to enjoy as you get your own cork-popping festivities underway!
The oldest example of a New Year's ad that I've run across is the following, an internationally-themed newspaper clipping from early in the 20th Century.
And in the years following, other Whiskey companies followed suit, each coming up with their own unique spin on the subject matter.
Of course, it wasn't all Whiskey and wildlife. Martell produced a couple notable Holiday campaigns at the tail end of the '30s...
While Cointreau got a piece of the ringing-in action with this festive missive.
Fleischmann's took a relatively understated approach, eschewing parties and dancing in favor of a quiet evening by the fireplace, sipping both Whiskey and Gin by turns. (Which surely seemed like a good idea at the time, but leads me to suspect they greeted their first morning of 1956 with quite a pounding headache.)
It's also worth noting that the recognition of New Year's as a time of revelry hasn't historically been limited to us here in the USA – and though I usually try to stay focused on the American industry, these two Jazz-Age French ads for Byrrh Wine Cocktails are too perfect to pass up.
So as you can see, there are plenty of fine ways one can drink away the change-over. (And though I'm not sure why someone would be joining us here at Alcohol Professor if they're not the imbibing kind, I'm also aware that all good hosts provide non-intoxicating options for their guests – so I'm going to leave this here too, just in case.)
Anyhow, I guess that just about wraps it up for this latest trawl through the archives. I hope you've liked this little glimpse at the anticipations, celebrations, and resolutions of an earlier age, looking back at the ways we used to look ahead, and we hope you enjoy your own celebrations, whatever form they take. May you have a safe, happy, and healthy time tonight, and we'll see you in 2015!