Have you ever remembered something from your childhood that when you mention it to other people they look at you strangely and think you’re mad, and that you must be making it up? Today’s post is a good example of this phenomenon.
Carling Black Label used to run a very successful campaign, spread across numerous adverts, which were based on the idea of some bloke doing something extremely well, and a couple of onlookers watching him and commenting “I bet he drinks Carling Black Label“. They had many great adverts using this theme, but the cowboy one was definitely my favourite.
It starts with a cowboy clutching a bag leaving a western saloon bar. A posse of riders appears and the cowboy runs away, but is lassoed by some of them. The cowboy continues to run, pulling those who lassoed him from their steeds, and dragging them along the ground as if they were being dragged along by a stagecoach.
We see the cowboy continue through rivers and desert before running off into the sunset, still pulling along the other men, before we hear the tag line and cut to a picture of a pint of Carling accompanied by a jingle.
“Is that all?“, I hear you say. Well, this is where it gets clever. The next advert comes on, or so we think. It’s an advert for a compilation album of love songs, with two lovers walking through a beautiful landscaped garden. Next thing you know the cowboy, still lassoed, bursts through a hedge, followed by a horse jumping the hedge. The cowboy has apparently invaded the next advert!
The cowboy makes his escape, after destroying much of the garden in the process, and the young lady being wooed is scooped up onto a horse, leaving her Romeo looking a little dejected.
But it doesn’t end there. The screen goes black and we cut to two women in a supermarket talking about washing powder. One of the women takes a box from the shelf, and who should be peeping through from behind but our cowboy friend, pushing a trolley but still wearing the lasso.
After trashing the supermarket in much the same way as he trashed the garden, the cowboy leaves the supermarket, bumping into the jilted lover from the love songs advert at the checkout. He manages to escape to a pub for a pint, whereupon we’re treated once more to the proper end of a Carling Black Label ad.
I’ve spoken to many people over the years about this advert, and have only received blank looks, but it definitely did exist, the proof being this video clip of the advert which you can see below.