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Mountain Fresh Advertising

Published by Steve Campion. Category: Business & Industry

It’s tough to hear a motorcycle zip past on a quiet road without thinking about a beer commercial. That’s a testament to the iconic advertising of the local Rainier brewery in the 1970s and 80s.  Their 30-second ads were creative, absurd, and usually just plain goofy.  You might consider today’s comedic GEICO commercials as modern equivalents, but Rainier ads always maintained a distinctive Northwest feel to their unpolished zaniness.  That was their charm.

Hollywood veteran Mickey Rooney joined the cast in at least a half dozen ads, appearing as a crooning Mountie and a hunter of “wild Rainiers” in the great outdoors. His giant bottle opener was a great prop.  In other ads, a herd of bottles ran through a mountain meadow, a family of Rainiers quietly crossed a road on a rainy afternoon, bar customers became a spontaneous locomotive, and self-driving cans crashed and dented each other in an all-out derby. There were also spoofs of pop culture, spoofs of other commercials, appearances by local celebrities and, of course, “Get it Yourself, Bob!”  But no ad was more often seen, more often talked about, and more fondly remembered than the simple passing motorcycle.

There’s no objective* way to pick the best of the 80 or so Rainier Beer commercials from that era.  They were popular and everyone had favorites.  (Even me, who was not yet drinking age then … and never had a Rainier after I was.)  So without pretending to hide my opinion, I selected and ranked my 25 favorites below. Whether you agree or disagree, I’d like to hear about it.  Please mention your Top 5 in the comments below — or share your list on WA-List’s Facebook page.  Maybe after a tally we can list them again according to our collective votes.

MY PERSONAL FAVORITE RAINIER BEER COMMERCIALS

  1. Mountain Fresh To Go (The Motorcycle)
  2. Mickey Rooney’s Wild Rainiers 2
  3. Marlene (Get it Yourself, Bob!)
  4. The Crooning Mountie – version 2 (with Mickey Rooney)
  5. Mountain Fresh Rainier (The Frogs)
  6. Rainier Crossing (Herds Come in Six Packs)
  7. Mickey Rooney’s Pop His Cap
  8. Railroad Crossing (at the bar with Bill the Beerman)
  9. Bonnie Ann (Piano-playing and whistling)
  10. Mountain Fresh Lager (Timber!)
  11. Freshest of the Lights (The Jacques Cousteau Parody)
  12. Home Fresh Home (Winter in Rainier Country)
  13. Cold Pack Days (with Lawnmower Team)
  14. Rainier Derby
  15. Hey, Rainier Beer (The Flying Karamazov Brothers)
  16. Mountain Fresh ’em Up (Roundup)
  17. Cheeta (Get it Yourself, Apeman!)
  18. Horizontal Pour
  19. Bill the Beerman and Rick the Peanut Vendor
  20. Rainiers in the Fog
  21. Beerish on America
  22. Best Beer in Town (The Brews Brothers Parody)
  23. Bottle Tops
  24. The Rave
  25. Mountain Pickin’ Fresh

NOTE: This list links to existing YouTube videos simply because they’re available and they grant us a chance to watch them again after all these years.  I didn’t post any of these videos nor do I know any of the individuals who did.  But thank you, whoever you are!

*One objective ranking method I considered was number of YouTube views.  Since some videos have been posted on the Internet multiple times, discovering the true sum total became a game of find-all-the-postings-and-do-the-math.  But — and here’s my subjective opinion again — the Most Viewed list began to steer toward the less entertaining, latter-year ads … and I couldn’t have that. So there!

And next week we go after the fabulous sidehill dodger.

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3 Responses to “Mountain Fresh Advertising”

  1. Kari K Says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting these! I’ve heard about them for over 15 years but never bothered to look for any of them.

    I can see why people still talk about these. People who worked on their advertising should be very proud!

  2. Joan Says:

    I never realized there were so many. Must have taken them for granted back in the day. thank you for adding them. I was so hooked I went from one to the other, but I agree with your listing for the most part in the order you have them rated.

  3. Humor News Says:

    This is a great blog you have here