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Black Star ads deemed Ad Age's "Best of Show" in ad competition.

The McKenzie River Co., a San Francisco, CA-based contract brewer, recently walked away with "Best of Show" honors in Advertising Age's 1992 Best Awards competition. The award-winning campaign is for Black Star Beer, a brand that the brewer began test marketing six months ago.

The brand's ad campaign, created by agency Weiden & Kennedy, develops a specious (and humorous) history for the brand, from its ostensible beginning in 1938 down through successive decades.

The campaign employs doctored newsreel footage and old photographs, building retro appeal through a satiric take on the advertising of decades past. The agency created images for Black Star beer that mimic ads of the '50s and '60s, ranging from a 50's-style animated spot featuring "Zippy the Cap," to a 60s-style ad with a bouffant waterskiing blonde and the maxim "Serve Cool."

In a recent issue of Advertising Age, noted ad critic Bob Garfield offered praise for the Black Star campaign. "Brilliant, irresistible, and--without a single punchline--hilarious."

According to Garfield, "In this category, for an entry such as Black Star, to a very large degree the advertising is the brand. And in that sense, Black Star is already exactly what |McKenzie River~ claims in the ad: 'America's Only Interesting Beer'."

McKenzie River president Minott Wessinger said, "We haven't made any decisions |on the future of the campaign~, but we knew wholesalers are starved for a new product. They are tired of being ground down by the tyranny of the Big Three."
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Title Annotation:McKenzie River Corp.'s Black Star Beer advertisement
Publication:Modern Brewery Age
Date:May 24, 1993
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