Must Say Something More, Somehowby Bill Tuomala
You know television advertising has reached a new low when you're pining for beer commercials that were made decades ago. Used to be that beer commercials could be witty and even classy. Now we see Bud Light drinkers who scheme to steal others' beers (just go buy a case, cheapskate!); Coors Light ads that feature teenage boobs-loving doofuses; Budweiser commercials that promote being "true" (could you be more vague?) and Miller Lite ads that have people screaming "my beer has no taste!!"
Folks - no taste at all is better than tasting like Miller Lite. Oddly, years back it was this same crappy beer that ran a legendary comical ad campaign featuring immortal punch lines such as "Hey - you're Boog Powell!" and "He missed the tag! He missed the tag!" I also remember seventies-era Schmidt commercials, such as the one where the guy blows on his big mouth bottle to imitate a shipÕs horn; the one about "Big Jim's coming!"; and one where somehow they based a commercial around a Fidel Castro / hijacking-a-plane-to-Cuba theme. I think Fidel wanted Schmidt badly - and who could blame him?
I especially recall a certain beer ad campaign that also ran in the seventies. In one, a guy shows up at a restaurant to meet his friend for dinner. He sits down and orders something like "two of the best steaks you have and a couple of bottles of Lowenbrau." In another, a dude who has just passed the bar exam dines with his father and orders prime rib and Lowenbrau. The father says: "Prime ribs? Lowenbrau? What are you doing?" The son responds: "Buying dinner for the guy who put me through law school."
These ads featured a catchy, classy tune. A genial piano plunks while accompanied by strings. A singer, R&B/jazz veteran vocalist Arthur Prysock, smoothly voices words to live or at least drink by:
Here's to good friends
tonight is kind of special
the beer will pour
must say something more, somehow
so tonight (tonight)
let it be Lowenbrau (let it be Lowenbrau)
It's been so long
hey, I'm glad to see ya
raise your glass
here's to health and happiness
so tonight (tonight)
let it be all the best
This tune is still burned into my brain damn near thirty years later. I even sang it to my brother - a fan of Lowenbrau beer and ads back in the day - in lieu of "Happy Birthday" on his last birthday. Think I could pulled that off with a Coors Light "Wingman" jingle? Think in thirty years, guys will be reciting those Budweiser ads where the dudes scream "wassup"? Or will fondly recall the Heineken ad where the guy didn't offer the last beer to the gal until he saw more beer was on the way? Or referencing the Coors Lights ads about dating girls with "big, huge brains"? Those ads will be as forgotten as low-carb beers will be. C'mon Madison Avenue - you're letting popular culture down big-time. You must say something more, somehow.