This film is part of Free

The Whisky of His Ancestors

Dewar’s were so proud of making one of the world’s first cinema ads, they recycled it seven decades later

Advert 1977 2 mins


Let’s toast one of the world’s earliest cinema ads. Dewar’s were so proud of the rediscovery of this Victorian-era film commercial that they used it again on TV in 1977. The idea of ancestral portraits coming to life to share a wee dram had been used in earlier print ads and merchandising, and it had already been adapted for film in the US in 1897.

No original copies of this British version are known to survive, only this reissue which unfortunately played back the footage at the wrong speed, making it unnaturally fast and a little ridiculous. Stay tuned to our version, as the original advert is repeated at a more appropriate frame rate, making the narrative and performances much easier to appreciate.