Aug 2016 03

One of my favourite things about old advertising is how it can show us the norms of that day. Commercials from yesteryear are a great time capsule of fashion, pop culture, and yes, our attitudes towards certain behaviours.

Today, smoking is taboo and I’m starting to wonder if even holding a drink in a picture is going to be looked back upon as verboten someday.

Here’s the legendary Sammy Davis Jr. in a 1974 Japanese-only ad for Suntory Whisky. He’s clearly bombed out of his mind. This is one continuous shot without an edit, so who knows how many takes he had to do already He’s blitzed, drinking alone, smoking (the ashtray looks a bit full?), and probably got paid a boat load of money with the guarantee it would never be seen back home in the USA.

I love it. We’ve all had nights that look like this, no?