Beer and Driving: Maybe This 1957 Hertz Ad Needed Another Set of Eyes…

Your Hump-day Recess: Just What Are You Selling?

promote-drunk-driving-with-adSubmitted for your approval; an illustration from an ad for Hertz from 1957. What’s strange about it? Not the happy couple in their gorgeous brand-new Chevy stopping for a burger at a drive-in. No, it’s the prominence of a Budweiser truck in the background. If you weren’t paying strict attention, you might even think that back then Hertz was trying to associate its product – rental vehicles – with beer.

And in a way it was. At the time Hertz was justifiably proud that Anheuser-Busch leased its trucks from them  – their ads promoted truck leasing as a cost-saving strategy. Nothing wrong with that.

But nowadays a company associated with driving would think twice about juxtaposing a car and a beer logo in an ad. Likewise, beer ads these days are quite free of references to driving, for which we all should be grateful. The two activities, generally fine on their own, are not to be combined. And companies go out of their way not to promote drunk driving.

This ad, by the way, comes from the wonderful Atomic Samba, a treasure trove of retro imagery and fun.

One doubts that this ad had any effect on the drunk driving landscape of the time; unfortunately drivers in 1957 didn’t need visual aids to encourage their dangerous activity. It wasn’t until the 1980s and the advent of Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) that strong public action would place a real stigma on the practice of impaired driving.

And by then, Hertz had hired a spokesman named O.J. Simpson.

Your Hump Day Recess: Every Wednesday LifeSafer brings you something a little different, related to the worlds of road safety, to ease your progress over Hump Day and through the week.
Previous Hump Days: a German Ignition Interlock spoof from 1960, our Top 10 Worst Crash Tests, a different kind of Anti-DUI message, Budweiser’s dogged anti-DUI campaign, How Not to Dodge a Parking Ticket, the world’s worst traffic jams, a dramatic buzzed driving PSA , an offbeat ad from New ZealandVince and Larry, our favorite crash test dummies, some excellent Soviet anti-drunk-driving posters, a lesson on how buzzed driving can ruin your love life, South Australia to Drunk Drivers: Grow Up!, a woman calls 911 to report herself for DUI, Felix the Cat and Drunk Driving,  DUIs who crash vintage cars – (ouch!), Woman Unwittingly Creates Self-Driving Car, A Brilliant PSA from Australia, a Road Safety Message in a Vodka Bottle, a PSA about binge drinking that is decidedly “meh,” Drunk Driver Crashes $4 Million Car, Drunk Driving in 1910, a Superb New Think! PSA from the UK,Drunk Driving in 1955: New Breath Test Technology Will Save the Day!, the Best Animated Gifs About Drunk Driving, and Angle Parking: A Surreal DUI Stop Photo.