Red text next to an illustration of a black and white bear hugging a brown bottle of bear on a sparkly blue background
This cartoon bear was an iconic part of the Theodore H. Hamm Brewing Company’s “Land of Sky Blue Waters” advertising campaign. Beginning in the 1950s, the bear played a central role in many animated commercials and was featured on innumerable promotional products. In 1959, one of these commercials was chosen as one of the top ten advertisements by a marketing firm. In 1969, the bear was retired, only to return in the 1970s in the hopes of revitalizing the brand. In 1973, a live, trained, bear named Sasha (apparently motivated by 8 boxes of marshmallows every day of filming) began to appear in Hamm’s commercials. In 2000, the company chose to stop using the character in its campaigns due to controversy over the use of cartoons and animals, which appeal to children, to sell alcohol. Even so, that same year the bear was listed as a runner up for the St. Paul Pioneer Press list of 150 influential Minnesotans, and in 2005, a statue of the bear was erected in St. Paul, MN.
Dougherty, P. (1973, June 15). Advertising: Dyed Blond and a Bear Freshening Brewer's Image. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.nytimes.com/1973/06/15/archives/advertising-dyed-blond-and-a...
Laine, M. (2017, February 7). Hamm's Bear. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.mnopedia.org/thing/hamms-bear
Tieberg, A. (2019, November 20). Theodore Hamm Brewing Company. Retrieved August 20, 2020, from https://www.mnopedia.org/group/theodore-hamm-brewing-company