Pipes in Advertising
It's been a while since I wrote a blog. Waiting for the right content, though, is what I'm leaning toward. Don't get me wrong - there is a ton of stuff to write about, but I remember seeing this advertisement over a month ago and just happened across it again this morning while filling up on gas when my cell phone was handy to snap a picture. Pipes were pretty much a standard manly thing to have in advertisements half a century ago; including (not by no means restricted to) grilling outdoors, sports equipment, rotary lawn mowers, camping equipment, and anything else that projected a positive image of "dad", "family man" or "successful bachelor". Pipes made the public aware that a man was choosing the right item because the smoker in the picture always had a smile on his face.
Needless to say, advertisements like this are rather rare these days. Some have a feeling that pipes are considered "retro" and have strongly come back on the markets along with fedoras, straight razors, and other implements that faded away in the last thirty or forty years in favor of new gadgets. I remember going to golf courses about ten years ago and seeing putters and clubs that were made with wooden shafts as a way to bring back something classic and older during a time when everything seemed to be composite or graphite. I had a set of clubs with metal shafts that got me the stink-eye from some people, but those are back now too! Many people growing up these days that didn't have a father smoking a pipe might have seen their first briars on a rack at an antique store next to the same wooden-shaft golf clubs that made a return to the market. There has been a recent renaissance of pipe design and other hand-made objects from individuals more so than large companies. As the old saying goes "What's old is new again", and we are seeing this in a lot of media. This particular advertisement is cool on so many levels. An older man smoking a pipe while applying a tattoo shows that he is comfortable with himself, his image, and extremely confident in his work. Tobacco and rum were partners in crime and entertainment for centuries; not to mention two of the most important things in the western hemisphere in the 18th-century. Given that this is an extended weekend when many of us wish to fire up the grill and have a bowl with a drink, my desire to hunt up this brand of rum and enjoy some good times is mainly derived from how good the advertisement can be.
"GOOD WORK AIN'T CHEAP. CHEAP WORK AIN'T GOOD". This is true for pipes, booze, tattoos, and anything else you wish to compare when quality really does make a difference.