Other guitar-y things

The one that got me


Does anyone remember this Stella Artois advert from the late 90s/early 00s?

Whilst I was aware of seeing Gretsch guitars in shots of The Beatles and the Monkees this was the image that got me hooked. It's the simplicity (although I now realise that they airbrushed out the volume and tone knob) and those curves. I didn't know this was a Streamliner at the time and shortly after this I acquired a '63 Double Anniversary like Brian Jones' which I thought was close enough.

How were Stella allowed to use a Gretsch in their ad? Did they pay?....I assume they must've talked with Gretsch.


Yes, I remember this ad. Cool idea that the pilsner is good enough to damage a pretty guitar in order to get it open.


What's with the volume and input jack being on the upper bout?

That's freaking me out.


John, that’s not what it is. The thing you see as the input jack is the implied damage caused to the binding as the cap was removed. The cap is laying right beside it.

As I mentioned before the idea is that the perp couldn’t wait to find a bottle opener so just ripped the cap off using the edge of the guitar. I’m sure they didn’t actually damage a guitar for the sake of an ad campaign, likely just Photoshopped. I assume the volume pot was ‘shopped out so as not to draw attention away from the action taking place down at bottom left.

The message may have been greater if they’d used a ‘58 ‘burst, but only to guitarists. A jag tan Streamliner is way prettier than a Paul so the beauty would appeal to player and non-player alike.

Stella Artois did a lot of understated cool ads like this, either printed ads with no text or tv ads with no dialogue. I believe the strap line they used was “reassuringly expensive”.


That makes a lot of sense, Deke. As to Gretsch allowing the use of their guitar----Hey! Free advertising! I've seen Gretsches used in other ads as well. I'm a bit surprised how often I see a guitar and amp in adverts for no real reason at all. They're usually really nice guitars and amps at that.


I remember a tv ad (with no dialogue, all done in cinematic storyboard to a rustic European tune in the background) that showed a shepherd (or maybe a goatherd) herding his sheep (or goats) through the Belgian countryside in searing heat. He was showing periodically mopping his brow and visibly tiring when he happens upon a tavern. He looks lustfully at the Stella pump at which the barkeeper points to the price and the shepherd’s face drops. Closing scene is the shepherd blissfully downing a Stella while the barkeep is shown as the proud new owner of a flock of sheep.

I’ve likely paraphrased the action a bit, but you get the idea - reassuringly expensive.


Well, it seems I remembered that all wrong. No sheep or goats, it was a flower seller.



It wasn't Stella Artois that called for a Gretsch. That was a function of an art director who had natural talent and was trained in what looked cool. If the Gretsch logo was not visible you can be sure that they never talked to Gretsch.


That did occur to me too, but the G cutout is visible so they may have asked just to be on the safe side.

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