Lifestyle

The 12 Classiest Whiskey Ads Of The 1960s

Published On 10/31/2014 Published On 10/31/2014

Forget everything you knew about the 1960s. Forget Mad Men, forget Apollo 11, forget The Beatles, forget JFK, forget Cuba, don't forget Vietnam...but forget about the rest. In the '60s, all you had to care about was a nice bottle of bourbon and the quickest method of getting it into your mouth.

Back then, you couldn't go online and find a self-mixing glasses, and if you wanted your whiskey aged for three years, you damn well had to wait three years. Times were simpler and the advertising reflected that sentiment. These, below, are some of the finest whiskey ads the 60s had to offer from major brands who are still alive and kicking today. They're not all politically correct by any means, but that doesn't make the booze inside any less sweet. Enjoy. 

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1. Canadian Club

Donald Draper's preferred whiskey. This 1966 ad has not aged in the sense that a gift-wrapped bottle of bourbon is still a perfect Christmas, Hanukkah, or Sunday night present. 

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2. Jim Beam

The 1960s belonged to Sir Thomas Sean "Motherf*cking" Connery. 

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3. Ballantine's 

This Ballantine's Scotch ad originally ran in a 1963 issue of Playboy and gave men everywhere a solid alibi to accompany the phrase: "I was just reading it for the articles." 

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4. Seagram's

How do you address the issue of underage drinking and the bold taste of Seagram's whiskey all at once? Talk to fathers directly. Now, can you do all of this while ending sexism? Haha. Oh, 1967. 

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5. Johnnie Walker

Because what's better than one glass of Scotch? Two! Two whole glasses of Scotch—stacked atop one another. Genius. Did this thing win a CLIO or what? 

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6. Old Crow

Before people had iPhones to distract themselves from painfully boring Christmas parties, they had the spiked eggnog. Old Crow calls it like it sees it with this 1963 spot. 

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7. Calvert

A lady can learn to enjoy the drinks men enjoy—once they're finished cleaning and crying and menstruating. Classic women. 

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8. Johnnie Walker

"Nancy, I thought your bridge club didn't like Scotch."
"Robert, I thought you didn't mind sleeping on the couch."
"Nancy, you're dead to me."

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9. Black & White

Back in 1967, this ad simply spoke to those who knew more about Scotch than the average hooligan. In 2014, this print ad is known as "throwing shade." 

10. Canada Dry Bourbon

Before Canada Dry's sole endeavor was the carbonated soft drink, they supported bourbon and inter-family make-out sessions. 

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11. O.F.C.

Another Playboy ad from the glory days of drinking where alcoholism was treated like a burn on a pinky finger or the annoying ginger kid next door. 

12. Cutty Sark

How Cutty Sark has managed to stay on the right side of cool since 1923 is a huge feat on its own and impressive in every way. This 1964 spot from Ebony Magazine doesn't say much and doesn't need to. Open ocean, damn fine ship, damn fine Scotch. 


Jeremy Glass is the Vice editor for Supercompressor and likes his whiskey like he likes his women: often. 

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