I remember watching the stylish Michelob ads from around 1987 or so vividly. They combined high Miami Vice-era cinematography with rock songs such as Eric Clapton’s After Midnight, which Clapton had rerecorded specifically for the campaign. (Pay no attention to that fact that Clapton was a recovering alcoholic only five or six years removed from the Hazelden rehab clinic at the time he recut one of his signature songs for them; like a similarly on-the-wagon Pete Townshend shilling for Schlitz in 1982, a buck’s a buck.) The Michelob ads were so sharp, Stanley Kubrick raved about them to Rolling Stone, when he was doing a rare interview to promote Full Metal Jacket, calling the ads “visual poetry.”
But I don’t recall seeing this one. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Frank Sinatra:
The telephoto lenses, the night cinematography, the big hair on the women, the suit and T-shirt, Miami Vice-style on the guy at the end, the Jennifer Beals-lookalike next to him — that’s the 1980s overculture right there. And it ends with two iconic images we’ll never see in person again: Sinatra and the World Trade Center.