A few Colt 45 mural advertisements in Philadelphia are angering local residents. Looks like another hip urban marketing campaign by the Pabst Blue Ribbon company is getting some street cred.
The drink in question, Colt 45, was once a malt liquor brand synonymous with ‘lower class drinking’ and street vagrancy. Homeless people all over the country look to ‘the Colt’ as one of the quickest and cheapest ways to get destructively drunk.
However, after Pabst Blue Ribbon (PBR) beer’s big turnaround from white trash drink to hipster nectar, other brands are tying to follow the path to new customers and bigger sales.
The “mural” consists of a large Colt 45 ad depicting cartoonish youths partying while proclaiming the drink’s superiority. Obviously the slogan ‘Works every time’ is a wink and nudge to getting wasted without fail.
The Associated Press interviewed some concerned residents about it:
“I really wouldn’t want my daughter looking at it,” Jill Maguire said as she pushed a neighbor’s baby in a stroller near one of the ads. “She might think it’s cool.”Jane Golden, the director of the city’s Mural Arts Program, said: “I just think it’s distasteful. I just think it’s the last thing we need.”
That reporter definitely should have gotten in that lady Jill’s face and said, “Well your daughter should think it’s cool. Cuz it is! Yeah!”, then proceeded to chug a 40 of Colt 45.
One of the murals can be found in the ‘Fishtown’ area of Philadelphia, which sounds like an awesome place. It is also a community that is slowly gentrifying, but still has many struggling families. Obviously, highly alcoholic malt liquor ads aren’t what they need right now.
But from a business standpoint, the ads are a great idea. They show an interesting piece of ‘corporate’ art that highlights a brand trying to become cool again. And as long as hipsters/artists with tons of their parent’s trust fund money like getting drunk, these brands will continue to be well marketed.
Any other alcohol brands you’ve seen trying for the big turnaround? Let us know in the comments.
AP: Malt Liquor Mural Ads Draw Fire in Philadelphia, June 26, 2008
Gawker: Philly Would Rather Not Have Colt 45 Cartoons On Its Walls, Thanks, June 27, 2008