The Art of the Ad: Elvira, Halloween, and Coors Light

“And if they ever ask about me, tell them I was more than just a great set of boobs. I was also an incredible pair of legs.”

Those words, delivered by Elvira—played masterfully as always by Cassandra Peterson—in the 1988 cult classic Elvira: Mistress of the Dark, encapsulate what fans love most about this woman: her absolutely perfect comic timing and…uh…yeah, her boobs and her legs too. I mean, we appreciate all of her! Plus, the girl with the zonkers that will drive you bonkers* is synonymous with the Halloween season. So it’s no surprise many companies have hired the sassy lassie with the classy chassis* to do product pitching. Back in the 1980s, the girl with the curves that will rattle your nerves* did a series of absurdly popular Coors and Coors Light print ads and commercials over the course of several Halloween seasons. The standees for the campaign that you’d stumble across in the beverage aisle were so cool, and today go for a pretty penny online. But just when it seemed like a partnership for the ages, it all went belly up.

*From Elvira’s lips to your ears, these fabulous descriptions of the Mistress of the Dark never fail to make me chuckle.

Note how the Coors company made sure Elvira’s long, raven hair covered up her legendary cleavage. Which is odd, because you would assume Coors’ ‘80s target market of red-blooded males age 21-65 would be anything but offended at the site of Elvira’s extraordinary décolletage. This shameful cover-up was demanded by the ultra-conservative, ultra-religious Coors family. I’ve found several references to this online over the years, plus Cassandra herself talked at length about it in her amazing memoir. Some of the Coors family were uncomfortable with their brand being associated with sex or the devil—this was the ’80s after all, and satanic panic was all the rage, kids! Even Elvira’s moniker of “Mistress of the Dark” gave them the heebie-jeebies. Reportedly, one of the Coors brothers was so appalled by Elvira’s wanton sexiness that he called her demonic and killed the ad campaign at the height of its success.

Insanity.

(Listen mister, that wasn’t revulsion you were feeling; it was your hard drive revving up at the site of Elvira. Admit it, man!)

Cassandra writes eloquently, and hilariously, about this entire fiasco in her book, Yours Cruelly, Elvira: Memoirs of the Mistress of the Dark, which I highly recommend you read. It’s legitimately one of the funniest and most insightful memoirs I’ve ever read. But, before you go purchase a copy, here are some more shots of Elvira’s ‘80s Halloween work for Coors Light. These images are sure to be nostalgic reminders of childhood and young adulthood for many Gen-Xers out there.

5 thoughts on “The Art of the Ad: Elvira, Halloween, and Coors Light

  1. I do remember these ads lol!!! I love Elvira. Honestly she is quite the feminist!! Yes… she is clearly aware of her physical assets and she shows them off to great effect, but….she’s also not going to take any shit from leering, groping creeps!! And she’s not afraid to be herself…gorgeous, funny, and self-depricating!! She’s exactly what we need to counteract those crusty Coors lame-oes!!!! Loved reading this Michael!!

    Liked by 1 person

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