5 Alcohol Ads That Confirm Your Worst Fears About Drinking
Advertisers would have you believe that strapping on a healthy buzz by way of a bottle of something a little more elegant will magically transform you into a more suave, sophisticated reveler than those who might stoop to drinking beer or doing gas station bath salts with the rest of the riffraff.
We can't always hit the mark in life, though. Unfortunately for these brands and their intended messages, what they did instead was subliminally confirm that getting hammered brings out the worst in a person. So, as you celebrate tonight, remember to do so in moderation, lest you fall victim to the heinous side effects of alcohol on display in these commercials.
Here are five alcohol ads that confirm your worst fears about drinking.
Dewar's Proves That Alcohol Makes You Surly
Nobody likes an angry drunk, and in this commercial for Dewar's (The Drinking Man's Scotch!), actress Claire Forlani proves to be exactly that, in terrifying fashion. For reasons that nobody will ever explain in a way that makes sense, the commercial opens with a scenic tour through what I'm assuming is some war-torn part of Europe where people have reverted to using horses as the primary means of transportation ...
Her name is Vlad.
... because all of the cars were set on fire by the marauding hordes:
This could be Detroit, also.
By the time we get to this shot of some sketchy street tough opening a criminal-looking doorway ...
Don't make eye contact.
... you'd be half inclined to think that some kind of kidnapping is taking place. Those suspicions are then confirmed with this shot of a trunk that, when viewed in real time, clearly moves as if someone inside is trying to get out:
Dewar's: As smooth as unlawful imprisonment.
So what criminal mastermind is behind this felony? That would be Claire Forlani, of course, and she's goddamn angry.
"For failing to remember my role in Police Academy: Mission to Moscow, you must die."
For the next 40 seconds or so, presumably while the latest addition to her stable of kidnapped Eastern European tourists turned human sex trade victims is prepped for display, Claire Forlani rants about people not taking life seriously enough, something she proves does not apply to her as she snarls ...
... and sneers ...
... her way through ...
... the normally simple and stress-free task of having a drink at an empty bar.
I've never been quite sure what compels a person to abandon societal norms and slip into a life of crime, but after watching this commercial, I know Dewar's will help you get there.
Jay-Z and D'Usse Cognac Prove That Drinking Leads to Depression
Jay-Z lives a pretty good life. He's married to, arguably, the greatest Destiny's Child member of all time, for starters. Beyond that, he's super wealthy, one of the most respected entertainers in his field, part owner of an NBA franchise, and quite possibly the Jackie Robinson of the Illuminati. Given those qualifications, it's hard to find a reason why Jay-Z would ever be sad. In this commercial for D'Usse cognac, though, it's clear that something has the Jigga Man down in the dumps.
"Sadness. That's what's up."
Our friend Hov sits in a dark room, all alone, the only sound for miles being the cries of anguish that must pockmark his inner monologue. We get no music, no sounds of ambiance, no light, no happiness, no reason to believe that drinking D'Usse cognac will lead to anything other than a worsening of the symptoms that compel so many to seek comfort in the warm embrace of prescription pharmaceuticals every year.
Contributing to the overall sad vibe is the extreme slow motion technique, which gives Jay-Z the look of a man who has been drinking away his sorrows for so long in a depressing (albeit tastefully decorated) room that he's now hammered to the point of being incapacitated. That's why it takes an excruciatingly ...
... long ...
... 47 seconds ...
... just to reach down and take one more drink.
It's a hard knock life. Drink yourself into an alcohol-fueled stupor with D'Usse cognac.
Gordon's Gin Acknowledges That You Won't Drink Responsibly
You know what you should do tonight? Shower in booze. That's the apparent message behind this Gordon's Gin campaign called "Favorite Things." It features Gordon Ramsay, whom research has shown to be the favorite thing of absolutely no one, being doused with a bucket of ice ...
... a bunch of limes (sliced, for safety) ...
... and what looks like a 6-gallon pail of alcohol.
Questions about the safety of gargling with a full liter of hard alcohol as Chef Ramsay does at the end of this ad aside, you must admit that, in an age when alcohol companies implore you to drink responsibly, it's refreshing to see one that understands that you absolutely will not.
Not if you're still standing, soldier.
In 2013, resolve to get blackout drunk more often, with Gordon's Gin.
Harveys Bristol Cream Proves That Alcohol Lowers Your Inhibitions
Quick, ask your dad if he's familiar with Harveys Bristol Cream. If he says yes, ask how. If he says it was your mom's favorite drink back when he met her, I have terrible news: Your mom was probably a bit of a slut. I assume this to be the case because, back when this disgusting liqueur ruled the land, its commercials made one thing absolutely clear: Harveys Bristol Cream is a drink for chicks with loose morals.
The commercial posted above is one of the early entries in this most questionable of ad campaigns. It kicks off with a woman calling a guy named Michael, a man she clearly does not know too well, to inform him that she'd like to come over and "leave a little something under tree."
"That something is my vagina, and that tree is your penis."
At around the 0:10 mark, she explains that, while you may take what she's doing as slutty, the stuffy judgments of the past fly out the window as long as you've got a bottle of the Brist' to bring along. After all, it's not like a gentleman can just not bang a chick who brings over a bottle of booze. That's in the same rulebook as "Puff puff pass" and "No double-dipping." It's basic etiquette. Keep that in mind before you go calling this liquor-empowered woman of the '70s something untoward.
Harveys didn't stop there with the glorifying of questionable choices. Take this baffling ad, for example:
It was made sometime in the '80s and takes a bold look into the future of love in the '90s, capturing with almost creepy accuracy how much we'd all eventually hate this guy and his stupid hair just from looking at his jerk face:
"In my spare time, I wax chumps like a candle."
Good news, though -- his date isn't much better, and the waiter knows it.
It's not made explicitly clear, but I gather from watching this clip that the waiter's look of concern has something to do with the fact that the woman accompanying Melrose Place Ken on his date has just produced what appears to be some kind of covert roofie lemon that she picked up at a spy shop for the purpose of spiking the drinks of her unsuspecting dates.
But it takes a date rapist to know a date rapist. Seeing that he's about to be drugged and taken advantage of, our hero does the only thing you can do in that situation.
He gives his date a little rape juice of her own. Recognizing that they no longer need to worry about who will take advantage of whom, the couple simply carry on with their date after sharing the most aggressive toast in television history.
"To sexual assault!"
And the commercial isn't even done! There's also a ridiculous bit with a woman who insists on wearing sunglasses indoors, which was 1980s code for "does a shit-ton of cocaine" ...
"Ask me about blowing Robert Downey Jr. on the set of Less Than Zero!"
... who, with a straight face, describes Harveys Bristol Cream as "upper-crusty" before another creeper takes the screen and delivers the line that made this commercial legendary in its day:
"Mine has a bigger torture dungeon ... just putting it out there."
Sylvester Stallone and Russian Ice Vodka Prove That Alcohol Makes You Racist
We just told you that simply looking at alcohol makes you a little bit racist. The operative words there, of course, are "a little bit." You're obviously not going to start burning crosses and ruining your good sheets just because you slam a Coors Light in the parking lot before work. But still, the science is there -- alcohol kind of makes you racist. And if you don't believe science, maybe you'll believe Sylvester Stallone instead.
In this bizarre ad for Russian Ice vodka, Sly simply runs down a mildly stereotypical telling of the origins of some of his favorite things. On the one hand, it plays as Rambo assuring you that his taste is the sophisticated kind. After all, he drinks coffee from Brazil ...
He IS rich!
... and wears suits from Italy:
They were buy-one-get-ten-free at the "every suit looks the same" store.
And that's great; nobody is going to be offended by having it stated that their country leads the way in fine coffee and suitery. But at some point, the things being associated with the respective countries start getting increasingly less flattering. Like when we're told that, obviously, his laptop comes from China.
Built from the finest 18-hour workdays available.
As for his lunatic tourist fans? Japan, of course.
Rented from Gwen Stefani.
By the time he tells us that his assistant is "German and efficient" ...
"And probably one of those lesbians."
... you're just hoping that there isn't a gardener or favorite rapper on the list still waiting to have their place of origin discussed. But there isn't, only an assurance that no matter what part of the world Sylvester Stallone's favorite things come from, his friends will always be one thing:
White and from Beverly Hills. As for what this all has to do with vodka, it's simple. Sly's attitude, according to him, is all from his Russian grandmother. And if you know your stereotypes, you know that Russian people drink vodka. And because you know that, you know about half of what you need to embark upon a career in marketing.
Adam hosts a podcast called Unpopular Opinion that you should check out right here. You should also be his friend on Twitter, Facebook and Tumblr.