Follow us:

Creative Blog

#TBT Ad Style: Schlitz Brewing Company

Thu, May 22, 2014

by DeAnna DeCaluwe, Account Executive

I’m finally jumping on the bandwagon of the #TBT with a series of TBT advertising posts, each of which will look at an ad (or advertising campaign) from the days of old.

Where to start? 1962. Why? Because I’m obsessed with Mad Men, and just hit the Cuban Missile Crisis (I’ve only recently began to indulge in this series, so please don’t post any spoilers!).

While stumbling through online archives surrounding advertising in 1962, I found this gem of an ad from “the beer that made Milwaukee famous”, #Schlitz Brewing.real gusto

Schlitz was established in 1849 by a German immigrant, August Krug, who began brewing beer in the basement of his Milwaukee, Wisconsin restaurant. The following year, Joseph Schlitz would join the ranks and eventually take over the brewery.

So how exactly did it come to make Milwaukee famous? By shipping hundreds of barrels to Chicago after the Great Fire of 1871.

The “real gusto” campaign was introduced in 1962 with varying executions, all targeting the male head of household. Schlitz was, at that time, among the major breweries that began to advertise heavily on TV. In 1966 the “real gusto” campaign gave way to the “When you’re out of Schlitz you’re out of beer” campaign. 

It just so happens that there was one, and only one, Polish phrase my father taught me while I was growing up. That phrase, “when you’re out of Schlitz, you’re out of beer,” will always remind me of my father. 


To see more ads from 1962, click here.

To visit the Schlitz website, click here.


Schlitz Brewing Company, http://schlitzbrewing.com

Sussex-Lisbon Area Historical Society, Inc., http://www.slahs.org/schlitz/history5.htm

Subscribe to Our Blog