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80 years of Vintage Celebrity Ads • • •

It takes more than talent to have a long career in Hollywood, and our beloved stars of past and present have turned to many a lucrative endorsement deal to pump up their incomes and their images. Selling everything from fur coats to furniture to face cream, many of these ads have shaped our popular culture and influenced trends for decades. 

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Entries in Smirnoff (2)


The stars love them some Smirnoff!


Smirnoff Vodka did an excellent job in the 1950s and 1960s recruiting some of the best love stars of stage and screen to shill their spirits. Phil Silvers was a company favorite, or perhaps merely favorited of the company enough in to star in the ads above from 1956 and 1958. The ads both exclaim Smirnoff is "The Gift that Leaves them Breathless!" I hope they're not referring to the kind of breathless where one is barely breathing while passed out drunk on the bathroom floor. In 1967, he was at it again and announcing the ancient appeal of fermented grains with a hearty, " Fun Things Happen with Smirnoff". I guess they do Phil, if your idea of fun is bikini clad bearers of grapes and booze. Yeah, that sounds about right to me too....


In 1959, the lovely, British actress, Celeste Holm, threw her hat in the ring to help introduce the Vodka Gimlet into the American lexicon of libations. Smirnoff claims the creation of this classic cocktail - and of course, it too, "leaves you breathless." To make yourself one of these yummy drinks:

Simply add 1 part imported Rose's Lime Juice to 3 or 4 parts Smirnoff. Stir, and server over ice in cocktail or Old Fashioned glass. Remember - smooth, flawless Smirnoff is the point of a good Vodka Gimlet!  

It seems that creating the Gimlet wasn't enough for Smirnoff, so in 1966 they brought together two very different personalities, Woody Allen and Monique Van Vooren, to introduce us their newest craze The Mule. The boozers recommend that you...

Give a Mule party! You couldn't serve a smarter drink. For a cool, refreshing Mule made with Smirnoff and 7-Up is a choice you can start with and stay with. Only crystal-clear Smirnoff, filtered through 14,000 pounds of activated charcoal, blends so perfectly with 7-Up. So follow the rule when mixing the Mule, make it with Smirnoff!

The official recipe reads: Pour a jigger of Smirnoff over ice. Add juice of 1/4 lime. Fill Mule mug or glass with 7-Up to taste. Delicious. If you have a time machine, you can even go back to 1966 and send off for a set of 6 "Mule Mugs". How chic.


I've saved these two divas for last - as it would be unfair for anyone to have to follow such glamorous glamour, darling. In 1962 and 1967 respectively, sultry siren Gypsy Rose Lee and platinum princess Zsa Zsa Gabor did their part to spread the word that if you care about them or "if you care 2¢ about your guests" then you'll serve nothing less than Smirnoff. Zsa Zsa feels so strongly, she's clutching her jewels... that means she's serious, y'all!

You know, all this talk makes me think I could use a drink.....


Smirnoff's Mule Party circa 70s

Ever heard of a Mule Party? No, me neither. So I read the fine print on this late 60s, early 70s Smirnoff ad featuring a very smiley Woody Allen and here's what I learned,

"Get a few mugs together and give a Mule Party.

When it comes to entertaining, this is the drink that is. For a cool, refreshing Mule, made with Smirnoff and 7-up, is a delicious treat you can start with and stay with. Only crystal clear Smirnoff, filtered through 14,000 lbs. of activatied charcoal, blends so perfectly with the subtle flavor of &-Up. So never forget the rule for the Mule, Make it with a Smirnoff!"

Well with the reputation of those swingin' 70s, that is certainly not what I expected! I mean the company's tagline is "It leaves you breathless." What was I supposed to think?