You’re on the right track, Madison Avenue

If there’s one ad that highlights how far we’ve come as a nation in regards to responsible advertising, it’s the one I saw recently on the back page of the Oct. 28, 1946 edition of Life Magazine.


The message is astounding on so many levels.

First, it’s been 43 years since anyone in this country has seen a print ad for cigarettes. The government banned them in 1971.

Second, of course, is the extraordinary irony, given what we know today about the carcinogenic impact of cigarettes, of a group of doctors even participating in a market study of cigarettes, much less recommending a brand.

Yesterday, I watched the brilliant #friendsarewaiting ad recently launched by Budweiser. While the ad promotes the brand, it also encourages responsible behavior. By last night, the ad had more than 11.5 million views, not counting all the unofficial shares on YouTube.

In addition to being a popular message, I think it’s an effective one and appeals in particular to a demographic defined by its risky behavior.

I believe young people will smile at the cute yellow lab when they see this commercial. They’ll appreciate the friendship between a young man and his dog. Sure, they’ll consider buying Budweiser  next time they buy beer. But, best of all, they’ll remember the hashtag before they get into a car to come home.

Friends are waiting.

Well done, Madison Avenue.

Madmen 005
This 68-year old ad may have been effective (cigarette smoking peaked in this country in the years between 1946 and 1971), but it was not very responsible.

But this beautifully produced ad, featuring a cute young man and his precious dog, sends just the right message to consumers. Friends are waiting. Be responsible. Don’t drink and drive. Come home.

6 thoughts on “You’re on the right track, Madison Avenue

  1. That certainly looks to be an effective ad. I wish cell phone companies would start doing the same for texting and talking on the phone while driving. The states are doing some of it, but the companies themselves need to step up like Budweiser is doing and take some responsibility also. In a media-driven culture it’s advertising like this that makes the most difference. Thanks so much for posting this.

    1. Thanks for reading it. I agree that texting and driving is another risky behavior that is keeping our young people from making it home. It would be cool if the cellphone companies or providers took that on.

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