Wednesday, October 6, 2010
"Don't worry darling, you didn't burn the beer!"
This ad for Schlitz beer was first printed in 1952. It says in the fine print:
"Anyway, you didn't burn the Schlitz!" There's hope for any young bride who knows her man well enough to serve him Schlitz Beer. For what man (or woman) can resist the taste of Schlitz Beer...a taste millions prefer to the taste of any other beer. No, we're not just saying that. Here's the simple proof: Schlitz tastes so good to so many people, it's first in sales in the U.S.A.
Where to start? Well, before we do anything else let's examine the year this was advertised. The 50s was a decade well known for sexist remarks. First, take a look at this clip from an episode of Leave it to Beaver. The father says that a woman's place is in the kitchen. Next, the ending of the 1956 film Indestructible Man suggests that a woman should feel privileged to do nothing but serve her husband as a wife that keeps house. Ambitions of having a career for women are apparently not important at all.
Now let's attempt to analyze what we see in this particular ad. The wife appears to be distraught at her inability to prepare her husband a meal. The food is burned, implying that women in general cannot cook. She is crying into a handkerchief because women, as the ad infers, are weak and easily controlled by their emotions. We know this to be an unfair generalization, but the ad says otherwise. Although his cannot-do-anything-right wife has spoiled supper, the husband is still satisfied because she was able to provide him with something invulnerable to her lack of culinary expertise. "Anyway, you didn't burn the Schlitz!" This ad makes the implication that Schlitz beer is all it takes to make a man happy. And look! There are two beers on the table! How generous he is to share with his lowly wife. She should feel so privileged.
However, if you think sexist ads are a thing of the past, think again. Bud Lite recently televised an eerily similar ad insisting that good wives should provide their husbands with beer. A word of advice, be vigilant when exposed to advertisements. They will try to take advantage of you and belittle your dignity.