Images Courtesy of Getty Images, John Holl
Advertisers in the 1980s had a very loose interpretation of who could be a spokesperson. Many were not even people: Domino’s Pizza’s the Noid, Joe Camel, 7-Up’s Cool Spot the Red Dot (who was just a dot with sunglasses) and the California Raisins. These characters put anthropomorphized faces on megacorporations. Perhaps none resonated more or for longer than Spuds MacKenzie, the official party dog of Bud Light.
During 30-second TV spots he was seen lounging on a beach chair, diving into a pool or playing drums at a backyard barbeque. Just living the life, accompanied by a custom soundtrack and narration by Robin Leach, host of Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous, while Anheuser-Busch rode these riches all the way to the bank. Spuds appeared on T-shirts, hats, lighters, koozies, glasses, lamps, belt buckles, beach towels, clocks, puffy stickers, Swatch watches and posters pinned to teenagers’ walls.
The commercials were wildly unrealistic. Not because Spuds’ lifestyle was unreasonably opulent for a pooch or he wore human clothes, pulled drafts and skateboarded, but because most of the time the pup was alone at these parties. Only a handful of times was the bull terrier being pet or scratched. In real life, dogs are the center of attention at any party.
There are more than 9,000 breweries in the United States these days, and a staggering number of taprooms are dog friendly for well-behaved dogs.