Insights for Destination & Leisure Marketers

Retro Ad of the Week, Labor Day Edition: Swift’s Premium, 1950

September 1 | Posted by: | Retro Ad of the Week, Seasonal

retro labor day ad

Are you ready to party? Because as this retro Labor Day ad suggests, Swift’s Premium Canned Hamburgers sure are!

Welcome Labor Day, our yearly national tribute to the contributions the work force has made to the strength and prosperity of our nation. Why not celebrate by eschewing any extra tedium, like say, oh, buying fresh ground beef and shaping it into patty form?

After all, these burgers are “all-beef, ready-cooked, ‘party style'” – so not only will your Labor Day be labor-free, your BBQ will be ready to rock. Since “all their goodness is captured and held right in the can” (against its will?) – you can be sure that “you never tasted anything like ‘em.” And you know what? I’d wager you haven’t.

Here’s the full text:

How to take the Labor out of Labor Day Week End
Take along plenty of Swift’s Premium Canned Hamburgers: all-beef, ready-cooked, “party-style.” Quick browning in the skillet and… “Ah-h-h!”…you never tasted anything like ’em – with all their goodness captured and held right in the can. And these “party-style” Hamburgers are only one of a whole family of delicious Swift’s Premium Canned Meats.

FUN FACT #1: The pre-canning preservation process was initiated by Napoleon Bonaparte, who offered a prize to anyone who could successfully preserve food for soldiers during the late 18th century. Nicolas Appert, who had experimented with preservation despite his lack of formal education, came up with a solution. It involved glass bottles, which were heated, corked, and sealed. This became the precursor to the canning process that we use today. Appert is known as the “Father of Canning.” (Source:

FUN FACT #2: The 1950’s mentality characterized ease and convenience not just as selling points but futuristic novelties. Check out this timeline of other processed culinary wonders of the 1950s and rejoice – then go get a kale salad.