Seagram's 5 Crown - Sabo-termites.

It's never too early to start using patriotic jingoism to sell your product. In 1943, World War II was yankin' and crankin', and there was already Hitler imagery used as a universal villain.

In this Seagram's ad, "toughness" needed a face. So, naturally, Hitler's was the go-to puss. The war wasn't even over yet, and Hitler's face was being used to sell whiskey. Weird. Imagine seeing a cartoon of Bin Laden's face in a beer ad. How soon would be too soon for that? 9/11 was almost exactly fourteen years ago, and not even Advertising is dumb enough to try that.

 So what's different now? Political correctness? Is everyone just afraid of being publicly shamed by the "taste police". The answer is probably pretty complicated, which means it would take someone smarter than me to put a finger on it. Discuss amongst yourselves.

So what's a "sabo-termite"? Encyclopedia.com says it' short for "sabotage". Makes sense. Okay, then why "termite"? Are termites a threat to gardens, or to whiskey production? The garden is probably meant to be a victory garden. I guess termites are a threat to sort of everything, from the point of view of a domesticated human. Hitler was a threat to everything. It's still a bit of a jumble of metaphors. Gardens don't have much to do with making whiskey. Maybe the wall of metaphor wouldn't have been as impenetrable if the ad weren't seventy-two years removed from context?

Imagine some brain in a jar trying to make sense of an ad for Outpost.com in the year 2087.

Click for big.


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