Sunday, 16 December 2012

Don't be vague....

...ask for Haig.  Fantasy Bob remembers this slogan from the days when strong drink was allowed to be advertised more widely than it is nowadays.  It never persuaded FB who preferred, even to this day, to remain vague - especially about field placings (somewhere on the offside is precise enough for most fielders).  FB is not a whisky man.

But this slogan - which was used from the 1930s right up to the 1970s to advertise Haig whisky came across FB's mind today when, through the wonders of the internet, he chanced upon the following wonderful advertisement which dates from 1965.

The cricketers who are both under 30 are testament to what continued dosing with Haig can do to that youthful appearance.

The 1965 season saw South Africa'a last tour of England for many years.  From the look of the cricketers in the advertisement they may well have been lamenting South Africa's exclusion from international competition.  No doubt they sought consolation in a few glasses of Haig.

Haig is Scotland's oldest whisky company and while it is now part of the Diageo conglomerate, its Cameron Bridge Distillery in Fife is still the largest spirit distillery in Europe.  At the time of this advertisement Haig Gold Label was the leading brand in the UK.

The most famous Haig of all was the First World War commander Douglas Haig who was subsequently Chairman of the Distillers' Company. Haig himself had several sporting interests - he played polo for England and was captain of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club.  

But as can be seen from this photograph he seems to have been less accomplished as a cricketer.  Haig's reputation and his conduct of the war remain controversial.  But hitherto historians have not considered the implications of his habit of wearing spurs at the crease.

1 comment:

  1. In the opening episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the eponymous Captain Blackadder states that the purpose of the ongoing military offensive on the Western Front is to move Earl Haig's drinks cabinet a few yards nearer to Berlin. This may be an over-cynical view but many who read the history of trench warfare in WW1 might sympathise. Presumably Haig whisky, or its upmarket Dimple variant, featured here but fashions change, even in the rarified world of whisky,and these brands have now been overtaken by the racier Johnnie Walker, among others. Spurs in the nets? That would cut quite a dash down at Grange Loan........