Since I commute to work from Brookings, I spend the night at my parents’ house in Sioux Falls once a week to save a little money on gas. When I’m there I’m treated to great dishes like roasted chicken, grilled steaks, awesome appetizers, and it’s all washed down with merlot or my dad’s homemade brew in a frosted glass.
My parents and I enjoy a high quality beer, but sometimes my dad likes to buy a 12-pack of plain old brew, nothing fancy. The kind of beer that doesn’t require you to intellectually analyze what you can “detect a hint of,” a man’s brew and nothing more. I think he’s nostalgic for those summer nights in his youth when he and his friends would lean against his ’69 Mach 1 Mustang, turn on some Zeppelin and pound back a couple Schlitz or Hamm’s.
Recently when I arrived at my parents’ house after work I was offered an Octoberfest, but for some reason a Hamm’s sounded better to me. As my dad cracked open the beer and poured it into a frosted glass, he started singing “From the Land of Sky Blue Waters, Comes the beer refreshing, Hamm’s the beer refreshing….” The tune was slightly familiar; I must have recognized it from a lecture when I was an advertising student or from a “History of Advertising” program on the History Channel or something. I DO know that to my recollection, I have never seen an active Hamm’s advertisement in the media, which tells me it has probably been a long time since my dad has seen an active Hamm’s ad altogether, which means this famous Hamm’s jingle has stuck with my “not-so-musically inclined” father for a long time.
What a great example of effective and memorable advertising. The Hamm’s ads really must have hit my dad’s “sweet spot”. I tried to no avail to find the last time the Hamm’s jingle aired, so unless a wiser person can enlighten me, I’m assuming it’s been at least 20 years or so. This would mean that all this time the Hamm’s jingle has been sitting in my dad’s memory without any further reinforcement. And my dad isn’t very web savvy, so I know he hasn’t listened to it on YouTube or anything. By just pouring the Hamm’s into the glass, the song sparked up in his memory, and then he sung it with sentiment.
This is the most ideal place a product can be – moving beyond sales and transcending into parts of peoples’ lives they remember fondly. To my dad, Hamm’s isn’t just some crummy beer he used to drink. Hamm’s stands for those simple summer nights in his youth, leaning up against his Mustang on a gravel road, laughing with his friends, and enjoying a couple beers after a hard day’s work on the farm. Hamm’s is a fond memory, a part of his past, and a part of his life.