Did Heineken Advertise Beer to Babies?

10 May, 2018

A purported image of a vintage Heineken ad featuring a depiction a baby drinking from a bottle of beer was posted to Twitter by the “History Lovers Club” account in May 2018. Was it real? No, but was it good enough for a laugh from this team? Yes it was and honestly the quality of the Photoshop work on the actual 7UP ad was impeccable.

heineken ad

This piece of artwork was a digital manipulation created for a Photoshop contest hosted by the web site Worth1000, now part of Design Crowd. The 2011 contest instructed contestants to “take modern products and display them in a vintage light through advertisements.”

Although modern audiences would find the prospect of advertising beer for babies to be unimaginable, the original ad on which the Heineken spoof was based would probably be met with nearly as much dismay: a 1950s-era magazine spread for 7-Up soda, created to appeal to young consumers.

The following images come from the September 1955 and November 1956 issues of LIFE magazine:

vintage 7ups

Hilariously, 7-Up was truly advertised as a healthy product for babies in the 1950s. The copy for the image on the left even suggested that mothers mix the soda with milk for a “wholesome combination”:

"This young man is 11 months old — and he isn’t our youngest customer by any means.

For 7-Up is so pure, so wholesome, you can even give it to babies and feel good about it. Look at the back of a 7-Up bottle. Notice that all our ingredients are listed. (That isn’t required of soft drinks, you know — but we’re proud to do it and we think you’re pleased that we do.) By the way, Mom, when it comes to toddlers — if they like to be coaxed to drink their milk, try this: Add 7-Up to the milk in equal parts, pouring the 7-Up gently into the milk. It’s a wholesome combination — and it works! Make 7Up your family drink. You like it … it likes you!"