Thursday, 30 May 2013

Old Beer Ads #9 - Whitbread Best Bitter (1982)

There are so many Whitbread ads on YouTube that one day I hope to do a special post on them.  I've picked this one today for the rigorous and pertinent reason that it was the first result on the search box for "Whitbread Beer".

Of all the beer ads I've seen for this series, this is the one that has most made me think  "What the bloody hell was the ad agency on when they came up with this?".  Based on poem written about the Russo-Turkish war which later became popular in music halls (my father still sings it to himself to this day), they stuck beery lyrics on it which debated the relative merits of handled mugs and nonic glasses.  The sheer unlikelihood of a 19th Century Russian aristocrat and a "son of the prophet" drinking Whitbread bitter is not mentioned.  One can certainly assume, however, that the cocaine dealers of Soho made thousands during brainstorm and flipchart session at the agency.

But for fans of historical comedy, though, this is interesting.  The singer is Tim McInnerny, best known as Percy and Captain Darling on Blackadder, whereas Ivan Skavinsky Skavar is played by none less than Stephen Fry.  I would have put the capitalist sellout of left-wing alternative comedians a bit later than this, but since Mr. Fry was prepared to promote a brewery-gobbling, tradition-trashing corporate monster like Whitbread in 1982, it seems I will have to revise my opinions.

And to think they slagged off Ben Elton for working with Andrew Lloyd Webber twenty years later...

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