When my Grandma Anna, born 1896, was asked what kept her going so strong, she always had one answer: Pabst Blue Ribbon. She drank Pabst Blue Ribbon over ice. It kept her going until she was 96 years old. I don’t think she ever drank more than two in one night. Well, maybe once or twice, but that’s another long story.
Most of beer and wine drinkers are semi-snobs. We know what we like and we’re going to tell you about it. Pabst Blue Ribbon has “made themselves over” more than any branded product in history. They are a genius of staying alive with a beer that tastes like pee. (Yes, George even worse than Bud)
PBR was first introduced in 1882. They are survivors. The first print ad I can find was in 1900 when folks were into elixirs and extracts. Over the counter cocaine, morphine and alcohol worked wonders on your body, but mainly they were working on your brain. If you had indigestion they had the cure and here it is:
In 1913, PBR changed their image again. Notice the suited guys with the nice small glasses. This isn’t like the Bud image of grabbing a long-neck and chugging it down while hoping Jimmy Johnson crashes on the next corner. No sir, Pabst had become a “Beer of Quality.”
After surviving prohibition PBR re-made themselves again. In 1936 PBR was introduced in the innovative “Tapacan.” A new way to drink beer and learn how to beer-can bowl too.
Pabst decided to take on a racist tone in 1938 and show what the rich people with servants were drinking. Of course we had to make sure our servant had that nice genteel slang. Don’t ax me why they did that.
In 1940 men did wear suits and ties to a baseball game, but PBR wanted you to know they loved drinking beer while watching the Cubs lose another game. Bottle or can, you would feel like a winner even though you’re team wasn’t. (and still isn’t)
That same year, 1940, Pabst did another innovative ad. This one for the ladies who also could enjoy a PBR. Another ad in color. Three decades later Pepsi did a similar blindfold taste test.
It was 1942, the war was looming. Not enough rich guys to drink beer so Pabst went after the tired, the poor, the hungry. Middle of the road folks could also now drink PBR. And, way before the Colonel, we discover that Pabst has 33 secret ingredients.
Those wonderful ‘50s, when woman dressed up to go to the grocery store. Lord know if they are going to supply the party favors, they better buy PBR. If you can read the small print I think today’s woman would be insulted by the line that says Pabst is perfect for bedtime. He-he-he.
1963 Pabst broke color barriers with this ad showing us that light-skinned African-Americans actually drink Pabst too. And this was near the end of print-ads for beer. They switched to TV so we could see men drinking PBR while riding bulls, hitting home runs, racing cars, bowling, getting tackled, dunking and sitting around drinking beer and laughing uncontrollably.
NOW THE GREATEST AD EVER
PBR has moved to China, designed a spectacular bottle and used the fact that Chinese people are enamored with ribbons. The advertising advises one to drink this incredible beer (which now tastes like Shar Pei pee) out of a champagne flute.