Tuesday, December 18, 2007

What'll ya Have? Drunken Surrealism.

Savvy non-marketer marketer that it is, Pabst commissioned an art contest depicting its hipster-ubiquitous Blue Ribbon brand in painting form.

Now I'm no philistine, and having the visual art and malted beverage worlds collide on the canvas is to me a brilliant idea, but I have to admit that I was a bit put off when I checked out the judges. Perhaps it's because I come from Milwaukee and was drinking Pabst when it was the beer you stole from your dad's schwag stash and not the "vintage ironic t-shirt" equivalent of hipsterdom, but to me it seems that Pabst's blue collar Midwest roots have been coopted in a clumsy exploitative attempt at authenticity by trust-fund graphic designers in Chicago and San Francisco. Maybe's it's the fact that I was drinking Milwaukee's macro-brews with my dad and his bar-league softball factory buddies when I was knee-high that gives me this FUBU-mentality, but let me just put it out there that you're not cool because of the fact that you worship Pabst anymore; that ship has sailed. Why don't you latch on to Hamm's for a while; I'm sure it could use a boost in sales.

Moving on...

Any support of the arts is ok in my book, and the varied pop-art representations of a cultural icon like the PBR can are interesting to say the least. Pabst chose five winners, who each received $1500 and two years worth of PBR, the message from Pabst being, "We want you to keep your starving artist street cred, but we'll at least get ya drunk."

The winners and some honorable mentions are currently on tour, stopping in Milwaukee last night at the Stonefly (formerly Onopa) Brewing Company, before continuing on to 25 other cities.

You can check out some of the winners at pbrart.com, and I have included one special one below. It comes to us courtesy of William Scott of Menominee Falls (a Milwaukee suburb). Mr. Scott was informed about the contest from his loving wife, and had this to say (courtesy of Onmilwaukee.com):

"I had started experimenting with art after I retired and had both hips and my knee replaced. I had some time on my hands and my mother was something of an amateur artists [sic], so I gave it a try. I had sketched a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon and had it on the wall in the basement, alongside my other Pabst memorabilia and neon signs. When I heard about the contest, I put color to my sketch and entered it. I named the painting 'The One and Only' because it's been the only beer for me for 40 years!"

Now that is a man who deserves two years of free PBR.

Links of Interest:

On Milwaukee Magazine

Digg this

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