Saturday, August 4, 2007

Thirsty? Just Whistle

It is nearly 95 degrees Fahrenheit outside, too much for my taste. For you Swedes, this is about 33 degrees Celsius, and with our humidity it feels much worse. Sweat is dripping on my neck and my fingers stick to the keyboard, because nothing evaporates, unless you sit in the sun, and then you sweat even more.

What to do? Drink! Relax.

PP recently found a complete bottle in the forest nearby of this brand, Whistle, marked New Brunswick on the bottom as well. Seems like the bottle is at least 60 years old, and probably has just been laying in the forest since. Why is it that old-fashoned advertising seems so more pleasing than today's massmarket ads for Sprite, Coke, and so on? I don't think it is that I only like old-fashioned things, I just think older ads look more like art, and new ones don't.

Also, turns out the man that invented the flavoring of Whistle Orange Soda, also invented 7-UP. One is gone, the other is huge in sales.

And, did you know that there is also a Steam-Whistle Beer? It is listed as a Canadian pilsner. I have never had it, but I bet PP has or ought to try it! Check out the label - it really looks like a steam whistle (ångvissla).


The Dater said...

I agree I love the old advertisement ads as well, makes me thirsty looking at those Whistle images. Just wondering but...who would really name a drink "Whistle", so odd the 60's. Well keep cool, I'm cooking at work today myself where its almost 100 degrees and humid.

O.K. said...

Maybe art doesn't sell products?
Perhaps the modern, less artistic ads are more effective?
To some degree I think it is a matter of perception. I think there are still (some) artistic ambitions in advertising today but we dismiss them as just being ads, just as they probably did back then.
Ok, I admit there's not much art in how beverages are sold today...

Whistle is still around.

O.K. said...

I should add that I think the eventually artistic ambitions are usually less common the bigger market the product is sold to. Maybe it is just as simple as when one mass-market something one goes for the lowest common demeanor not to repel any potential customer? Result = stupid, bland advertising.

LS said...

But O.K., your statement about artistic value and size of company isn't really correct always I think. The worst ads are the local rug or landscape companies, or car dealers. And companies like Apple and Mini make really fun ads. I guess those are exceptions though - all the Chrysler, Pepsi, and McDonalds ads are really the same globalized thing without any artistic talent. But obviously they work, otherwise they wouldn't use those ugly ads, right? Yes, maybe art doesn't sell. But then, why is Georgia O'Keefe and Tiffany's glass art on everything. Show me some artsy ads made today that are dismissed as plain ads and not art!

To the dater: Welcome to our blog! Whistle was named in the 1910s, long ago, back then it was probably associated with trains maybe, or just people whistling a lot to the radio? I agree, in the 60s it wouldn't have been the Whistle. It would have been "Joe's Corner Soda" or "Bee-Baam-Bop" or something like that.

O.K. said...

I'm not talking about the size of the company but the size of the market their aiming for with their product. If you are going to sell your product to all demographic groups all over the world the ads tends to become bland both in message and artistically, since you don't want to repel anyone regardless of sex, age, religion or cultural background. Products for a niched market don't have that problem in general. Cars and rugs are sold to anyone. The local rug and car company might be hampered by their budget (and bad taste ;]) as well.

Apple is interesting. For a long time they had this self-proposed (is that a word?) image of being revolutionaries ("1984") and "oddballs" ("Think different"), hardly a good thing if you trying to sell your computers to anyone (I think).
What do they have now? Dancing silhouettes and "hip guy vs. old nerd", where the mac is the "safe choice"... I always thought the "Think different" campaign was cool, but realized it probably wouldn't sell a computer to medelsvensson/average Joe. I bet Apple are doing much better now.

"why is Georgia O'Keefe and Tiffany's glass art on everything"
Haven't seen any of those, I guess I read the wrong type of magazines. Can you give any examples? My guess is that they are mostly used as references, "we have taste, just like you". What do they sell with these ads?

"Show me some artsy ads made today that are dismissed as plain ads and not art!"
I can't do that, then my hypothesis would fail! :) I'm just as blind as anyone else. Time will tell. And I won't go into a discussion of what art really is...

I must stress that I don't know anything about advertising, I'm just speculating.

"Gimmie a shot of that Bee-Baam-Bop!"

PP said...

see this page for something relevant to this discussion

PP said...

why do my links never work?????
it cuts it off

LS said...

I am posting this link for PP:

The Decline of Western Magazine design I

The Decline of Western Magazine design II

The Decline of Western Magazine design III

I can't believe it - look how different and beautiful they were and now they all look the same.

LS said...

O.K., where did you find the Whistle can?

O.K. said...

Interesting comparison. I remember a discussion with the editor of the swedish edition of Macworld about why the covers were so ugly and had so much text on them. The answer was short, they had tried much cleaner designs in the past but those issues didn't sell.
Nowadays a lot of magazines seems to be a way to provide a selected group of consumers for the advertisers, I sometimes wonder why you pay at all for reading them. I wonder how it was earlier?

One magazine I find fascinating, in a freak show-kind of way, is the weekly "How to spend it" from Financial Times. Perhaps it is because they are so blunt what it is about, consumption, and the selection of goods they presents for the readers. It is so focused on price, the higher the better of course. How about a pair of $7000 stockings? They won't tell you what eventual qualities they have to motivate such an outrageous price...

O.K. said...

HAHAHAHAHA! I found "How to spend it" online, but when trying to access it with the adblocker enabled it came up...Blank!
(Caused by a plugin issue, but still funny).

O.K. said...

"O.K., where did you find the Whistle can?"

On the wikipedia page for the Vess company who makes it.

LS said...

$7000 for a pair of stockings? That is crazy. Do they suggest that you fund a soup kitchen for a month instead to feed the hungry? Or give some money to restore and save old buildings for the future?

Once I subscribed to a magazine called Real Simple, but I got mightly pissed when they featured a blouse for $400 - that is NOT simple living. Same here, no particular reason why it was expensive, it wasn't organic cotton or anything like that.

I think you are right about the advertisers/magazine owners - it is just a way to provide a select group of people to the advertisers. Real simple used to be a small magazine with very few ads, then they became popular and now there are so many ads it is boring to read it. I have cancelled my subscription.

I think WIRED is an exception from this, they seem to try their own thing. Well, of course they have the usual ads and provide a particular niche group of people to advertisers too, but still, their typography, covers, and stories are different. What do you think>

O.K. said...

"Do they suggest that you fund a soup kitchen for a month instead to feed the hungry? Do they suggest that you fund a soup kitchen for a month instead to feed the hungry?"

No, that would be like...socialism! ;)

Funny that you'd mention Wired, because I don't like their layout too much. Mostly because the articles looks like hip, trendy ads which makes it hard to separate them from the hip, trendy ads next to them. Where does the article end and where does the ad start? Smart strategy? Makes me read the ads as articles or dismiss the articles as ads?

I usually like the content of Wired though.

Any examples of Georgia O'Keefe in advertising?

LS said...

I have been looking but can't find Tiffany and O'Keefe in advertising, so I was wrong. It is in design though, and on mass marketed products.

PP said...

OK, do you remember the old Wired? When it first came out you REALLY could tell content from ads. I don't like it much either. I love the quote about Fortune create the most beautiful magazine...I wonder what today would be the "most beautiful" magazine. I'm sure there are some small independent ones that are...but what big popular press magazine would qualify?