© 2011 Saty + Pratha saty-pratha-take-courage

Take Courage!

Saty and I have seen the ‘Take Courage’ slogan atop a few establishments in London – a rickety wooden version of the call to action crowns one of the pubs on the end of our street. Call it romanticism, or call in North American naivety (everything British has to be old and has to have something to do with ‘the war’), but we assumed the encouragement had to do with WWII. We thought it was in the same vein as those ‘Keep calm, carry on’ and ‘Make do, mend’ rallying calls. So, imagine our crushing disappointment when we discovered the true origin of this heartening slogan – advertising for Courage beer! WTF + harrumph!
Well, if I can’t provide you with a charming war-era tale of stoicism, I can at least tell you a bit about the beer. Which is sufficiently historic for my liking: John Courage first brewed his beer in 1787 in Bermondsey (which sounds like it’s where hobbits live, but really it’s just south of the river). Dear old John died soon after his brew’s launch, his wife took over, she then died suddenly too, and someone else took over … as these things go. Fast forward a few decades and ‘Take Courage’ became the advertising campaign for the beer, encouraging Brits to chose this brand over competitors. The tag line stuck from its inception in the 1950s until the 80s. In advertising years, that’s a massive period of time, quite an accomplishment. And now the beer can be found in the discount bin at Lidl. So there.

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