Monday, September 15, 2008

Unnecessary Critique: Champale's Ad Campaigns

NOTE: You may think that it is silly and a waste of everyone's time to turn a critical eye towards the ad campaigns of an unpopular product from a by-gone era, however, let me say this in my defense: Shut up, buttface. Now, Champale, in all it's glory!!!

Oh my god, Champale, you are blowing up class like a tuxedo atom bomb set to Vivaldi in a Parisian ballroom during a millionaire's birthday party on New Year's Eve. So tasteful, so elegant, so malt liquor-y... you are the faux-champagne curse of the working class, but in a top hat made of money. Your ad campaigns from the late 60s and early 70s, on the other hand, were awful. So much so, they came all the way back around to awesome. They're awesomely awful, in other words, and we here at ZFS want to take a long, hard, throbbing look at them because it's Monday and we're sleepy and that seems way easier than like actually doing stuff or whatever. So, let's get our unnecessary critique on, fine living-style!!!


This is one of the best examples of cuts-both-ways advertising I've ever seen. What they're trying to say... or, rather, what they want you to BELIEVE they're trying to say... is that Champale is the perfect drink for celebrating the everyday existence of life on this wonderful planet Earth. Every day is a party, every day deserves a little class, particularly at such affordable prices. That's one way to read the above ad. The OTHER way to read it... which, incidentally, is more accurate... is like this: "Champale. You Have Nothing To Celebrate, So You Might As Well Drink This." In other words, your life is miserable to the point where buying a gussied up cousin of Colt 45 counts as a reason to be thrilled your alive. Seriously, there isn't a single thing in your life that brings you joy. You're a dead man walking, a shell of a human turned away from all that is goodness and light. Here, you might as well have a Champale. Because what else are you going to do? Succeed? Ha ha ha heh hoo... right... drink up, pal. Celebrate nothing with it. Celebrate!!!


You might have to actually read the whole text of the thing to truly understand it's glory, but in case you don't feel like studying ad-copy from 1968, allow me to summarize: The gist is that the Boss (pictured) won't give you (the reader) a raise because he sees you drinking what he believes to be champagne at your desk everyday and, thus, assumes you're living the good life and aren't in need of any extra cash. Now, absorb what's going on here... the Boss isn't taking issue with the fact that you're drinking every day at your desk. No, he's taking issue with the fact you appear to be drinking a higher quality of booze than him! OH MY GOD why wasn't I an adult in the 60s?!?! It was a magical drunkard's dreamworld where nobody cared and doctors prescribed whiskey for everything from Polio to alcoholism. My liver is trying to eject out my navel just thinking about it.

#3 and #4

Apparently, at some point in it's lifespan, the creators of Champale decided to market their product to the African-American community. The resulting ads were... oh... let's say... "slightly uncomfortable" for everyone involved. Looking at them now, particularly the last one, makes my skin crawl like I just realized my blind date was in The Klan (lousy Craigslist). I don't know... maybe I'm just too much of a guilty liberal. Maybe these ads are fine and African-American men and women everywhere have been actively looking for a beverage that tricks their mouth into thinking it's both Saturday night AND having a party. I don't know... I'm very white and clueless about such things. But whatever the case, I can't imagine that Champale was the beverage they were looking for. It's offensive in every way, plus I'd wager that it tastes like cat pee. Fancy cat pee, but still.


Blogger Lioux said...

"Hey Clinton, I've got something that'll make your mouth think it's having a party on a Saturday night. And then we can go meet up with Earl and Diane for some Champlale®™©™ afterwards..."

10:57 AM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

no martini and rossi??

12:19 PM  
Blogger jason quinones said...

howz bout bartles and james??

12:19 PM  
Blogger Heavy B said...

Oh dear god there is nothing I like better than old timey ads.

But really, I am weeping that I do not live in an era that would have allowed me to drink a MALT LIQUOR product at my desk. With a tasty liverwust sandwich on the side.

1:49 PM  
Blogger stew said...

I once had something that made my mouth feel like it was having sex.

It wasn't Champale.

4:55 PM  
Anonymous J. said...

If watching Mad Men has taught me anything it is that in the 60's drinking at work was encouraged as long as you made a half-hearted remark about whether it was late enough in the day just before slamming down the scotch at 8:30 in the morning. That show also made me want a cigarette and I've never been a smoker.

5:05 PM  
Blogger Subway Gal said...

What the hell is Champale???

9:37 PM  
Blogger ML said...

So the first of the two african american ads made me think he was referring to his penis. Is that bad?


7:23 PM  

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