Dawes Black Horse Brewery targeted a variety of markets with its ads but focused chiefly on middle-aged, middle-class men who liked to relax with a beer. For the most part, Black Horse enthusiasts were portrayed as fun-loving fellows with a penchant for humour and sports. They were the core target segment, the most likely prospective customers. But no one of drinking age was neglected. Between 1920 and 1950, the ads also featured workers, sports players and women.
References to farm work were common, since rural residents made up a specific target market, along with city dwellers originally from the countryside. Women were represented in the ads because they did most of the grocery shopping and thus chose the brands. Occasionally, the ads illustrated the world of high society, suggesting that the beer was enjoyed by everyone, even the well-to-do. This enhanced the brand image.
Brewing industry advertising in the early 21st century features sexy young drinkers of both sexes perpetually partying with crowds of friends. So it is surprising to see old men in a few Black Horse ads. Drinking this beer was associated with the well-earned rest of the middle-aged. These days, despite an aging population, older people never appear in brewery ads. And beer drinkers are rarely pictured alone or at home, as they often were in Black Horse ads. Current beer brand strategies spotlight young people in order to attract consumers and win their loyalty at an early age.