Alex the Dog

Alex the Dog

Alex the Dog was the advertising mascot for Stroh's beer in the 1980s and precursor to Budweiser's Spuds MacKenzie. [Carolyn Smagalski. [ Beer Dogs and Party Animals] Accessed 5 March 08] At the peak of his career, Alex appeared in parades, on "Good Morning America", and the "Today" show. He even inspired a series toys, posters, cologne, shampoo and hand lotion. Hip-hop artist Tone Loc referenced Alex the Dog in his song "Funky Cold Medina".

Alex was known for a series of commercials wherein he would fetch beer for his owner. Peter Blum, the archivist for Stroh's, describes Alex's most famous commercial:

During a poker game, one of the buddies says "I could sure go for another Stroh's", and starts to get up. The owner says, "No, wait...Alex...'Woof'...2 Cold Stroh's 'Woof'." "Wait 'till you see this...(door opening sound) Just opened the refrigerator...(bottle cap hits the ground) just opened one bottle...(another bottle cap hits the ground), just opened the other...(pouring sound), now he's pouring yours...(pouirng sound), now he's pouring mine." The next thing you here is "lap, lap, lap", and the owner says "Alex! You better be drinking your water!", and the other players laugh. The look on their faces as they hear Alex getting the beer is priceless!

[ Beer (and) Man's Best Friend For Beer Dogs Everywhere] Nov 2001. Accessed 5 March 08]

Alex, whose real name was Banjo, was part Golden Retriever and Irish Setter. He was found by trainer Alvin Mears of Alvin Animal Rentals at an animal shelter. [ Alex, the Stroh's dog] Accessed 5 March 08] Alex served as the Stroh's dog from around 1984 until 1989 when the creators of the Alex the Dog commercials, Lowe Marschalk, lost the contract with Stroh's (who at the time was the United States third largest brewer.) The new campaign, tried to take Stroh's in a completely different direction, "Essentially, what they're doing is appealing to a whole different category of drinker ... They are going from a lowbrow image to one that seems almost aristocratic."Michael Freitag [ THE MEDIA BUSINESS: Advertising; Stroh's Shift: Is It Bold or Desperate?] August 3, 1989. Accessed 5 March 08] Critics of the campaign condemned the shift as it tried to sell Stroh's beers as a premium import beer---"something it is not."

Alex died of cancer a "few years" after the advertising campaign ended.


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