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The Long Hot Summer

Posted by on in August 2015 Editions
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I often peruse old editions of the Beverage Journal when looking for ideas for future articles and editorial topics.  I found a very good column recently by Ralph Chase.  Mr. Chase wrote a column during his tenure as editor and publisher entitled “Editorially Speaking.”  I found the below in our July 1967 edition … yes, July 1967 (which happens to be the month and year of my birth).  

I think you will agree that Mr. Chase’s article is particularly interesting, if not amazingly timeless.

“That long hot summer we’ve been hearing so much about is now at hand.  And in the sense this phrase is now used as a threat of civic unrest, we can only hope for the best.  But from the merchant’s point of view, the summer season in years past usually was synonymous with an inevitable “summer slump.” For those in the industry it was a time for some extra beer, gin or rum business, but for the most part, they accepted skidding sales as the inevitable consequence of hot weather and wrote off the summer with the hope that a good Fall season would make up the losses.

But times have changed, and men who work at selling just wouldn’t “but” the inevitable summer slump idea. Merchandisers in the industry discovered that summertime can be selling time, too.  They found the key in the approach that translates liquors, specialties and wines into the wonderful goodness of the coolers, and catered profitability to the business the sweltering temperature creates.

Instead of hibernating for the summer, they stuck at their job. Instead of relaxing their selling they reached out aggressively for summer business.  And gradually, a new, powerful interest has developed in the summer market.

Today the summer sees little slacking of the industry’s great promotional campaigns.  This year, on a scale greater than ever before, special sales programs are pressing for summertime business with all the product types – whiskies, vodkas, gins, rums, tequilas, cordials, cocktails, wines and others – sharing this bid for warm weather sales and profits.

All through this summer, newspaper and magazine advertising will be telling your customers about summer drinks for palate pleasing enjoyment.  Striking point-of-sales aids are being provided to help carry these campaigns message to the consumer.

When you tie in with these great promotions, with displays and windows that dramatize to your customers your answers of refreshing liquors and wines to counter the heat wave, you reach out for the summer’s profits. When you feature the frosty coolers that invite orders, or suggest the extra bottle for the warm weather drinks so certain to please, you make ‘the long hot summer’ work for you.

Look upon this warm weather period as a time for harder selling – for selling the use of your products – not relaxing.  For dealers everywhere, smart, live-wire summertime drink promotion opens the door wide to a powerful pay-off in a big and prosperous market.”

July 1967 … yes, particularly interesting and amazingly timeless. 



Steve is the Publisher of the Maryland & Washington, DC Beverage Journals (trade publications serving the licensed beverage industries of said markets).