9A. Creating, Introducing & Implementing
BAVARIAN'S "NEW LOOK"
THE NEED FOR A "NEW LOOK"
Due to litigation between Bavarian Brewing Co. and G. Heileman Brewing Co, Bavarian agreed to rename its Bavarian's Old Style Beer in 1955. As briefly explained in period 9. Turnaround Efforts, Louis L. Schott, who was serving as Secretary/Treasurer, was named Marketing Director in June of 1956. He was charged with obtaining a new name and design for Bavarian's Old Style Beer and developing a new advertising campaign and packaging program around this image. More information about Louis is provided on the side.
To proceed with developing the ad and package programs, Louis hired an advertising manager as an employee of Bavarian, Larry Rinck. Rather than use local agencies, they decided to hire a couple of the premier firms of their time located in New York City. (Think Mad Men.) They learned about an executive in one of the prestigious deign firms in New York, David K. Osler with Lippincott & Margulies, who was originally from Cincinnati. He had previously worked with Kroger in packaged goods. Bavarian engaged this firm and worked mostly with Osler in his capacity as an Account Design Director. However, occasionally the meetings and designs involved the founding principal, J. Gordon Lippincott. Bavarian also hired one of the premier national advertising firms in January, 1957, Calkins & Holden, co-founded by the "Dean of Advertising Men," Earnest E. Calkins. One of the first and most important steps was selecting a new name and creating a design that complemented the name. To do so, some research was conducted, as discussed below.
About Louis L. Schott
Throughout this website, Will Schott's brother has been referred to as Lou and his son (Louis L.) referred to as Louis. This consistency will continue, but a clarification between these two men is warranted at this point. Both actually had the same first names of Louis, and both were often called Lou. To differentiate these two men, Louis L. Schott was sometimes referred to as "Big Lou" since he was 6'3" in height. He was taller than his other family members and most of the men at the brewery back in the 1950s. Louis was also 42 years younger than his Uncle Lou. Since Louis was in charge of Bavarian's "New Look," a brief background about him is given as follows.
Louis was born in 1921. He graduated from Western Hills High School in Cincinnati in 1940, six years after his brother, William R. Schott (Bill). Louis attended Dartmouth College beginning in 1940, leaving college after two years to serve in WWII. After returning from the war, he married his high school sweetheart, Virginia Erhardt. They lived together at Dartmouth while he completed his college degree. The couple returned to Cincinnati in 1948 and had a son a year later, Louis Ried Schott (Ried). Louis began working for Bavarian as a truck driver, and over several years was promoted to Assistant Secretary & Treasurer, Secretary, and then both Secretary & Treasurer by 1955. In the late 1950s, Louis built a family home next to his brother's family and their family home, called Pine Meer, on the west side of Cincinnati.
SELECTING A NEW NAME & DESIGN
Research by the design firm of Lippincott and Marguilies (L & M) revealed that Bavarian's had a loyal group of consumers, but that their beer was not appealing to many new beer drinkers. According to their investigations, the image for Bavarian, as depicted by part of its name and trademark, was "old." L&M believed the new name and design for Bavarian's beer needed to be more contemporary and colorful, while still having some connection to the past to retain their faithful and older customers. As shown on the side, numerous designs and names were considered. Of these, the names and designs were narrowed to the three below; Bavarian's Star Bright Beer, Bavarian's Mellow Beer and Bavarian's Select Beer.
In modifying the name of Bavarian's Old Style Beer, there may have been some historical precedence. For those familiar with Bavarian's beer names before and shortly after Prohibition, one formerly well-known brand name is Riedlin's Select Beer. So, the previous use of "Select" from this former name may have been a factor shaping the final decision. The new name and design may also have been influenced by insights from focus groups. Louis even asked his wife and eight-year old son which design the liked best. They both preferred the most colorful one with three flags, which happened to be the one finally chosen. (It may be unclear they actually influenced the final decision, but they liked to think they did!) Perhaps due to a combination of these factors, the final name chosen was Bavarian's Select Beer. Even though the brand name was slightly modified, the most important part of the new name was that there would be no change in the way people commonly referred to the beer – as Bavarian's.
In developing the design for this "select" beer, certain elements and illustrations were considered. The final design took the form of an oval shape with three colorful flags, and a different symbol and meaning within each flag, as shown in the illustration above on the far right. The symbols included; an hourglass (for Time), a crown (for Tradition) and a hand with grain (for Skill). The contemporary, colorful design was intended to attract younger consumers, while elements connected to both quality and tradition helped to retain Bavarian's older and existing customers. From a design perspective, the use off three triangles was a powerful and symmetric feature that drew interest to the logo. Of equal importance, this new design could be used on all types of packages, displays and point-of-sale items, as well as in limited color variations.
DEVELOPING A PACKAGING PROGRAM
Deciding on the new name and motif was only one step in creating a new image for Bavarian's Select Beer. The next step was for the design firm of Lippincott & Margulies (L & M) to create a packaging program.
Labels, Cases and Cartons: Specific labels for different-size bottles with different alcohol content were needed, along with the development of new cans. The crates and cartons containing the bottles and cans would also need to be reworked. To do so, designs were first sourced from L & M before Bavarian unveiled its new brand image and began advertising it. The images below were supplied and approved by Louis and others at Bavarian, and they went into production as this new look and image was being introduced.
1957. Shown above are bottles, a case, a carton and cans with the "New Look" of Bavarian/s. Source: Louis L. Schott from slides supplied to him by Lippincott & Margulies.
Crowns / Bottle Caps & Keg Caps: As part of the bottle packaging program, it was necessary to create new crowns or bottle caps. Because Bavarian primarily sold their beer in Ohio and Kentucky, they needed to comply with the regulations for each state when developing crowns. Each required that their state seal be placed on the bottle caps. Further, the colors of the crowns needed to vary depending upon the alcoholic content and size of the bottles with the amount of tax paid for each bottle printed on the side of the label. (See Crowns.) The design of the crowns was coordinated between L. E. Baker, the Production Manager at Bavarian, Dave Osler with L&M and a firm that made the crowns, Bond Crown Co., as mentioned in a letter that can be viewed here. The crowns shown below were those provided to Louis, and given to his son, Ried.
1957-1959. Three Ohio crowns (bottle caps) are on the left and two Kentucky Crown are in the center, above. The last three images are keg caps, which were actually a few times larger than crowns. The different colors of the crowns and caps helped distinguish the alcoholic content of the beer and the state tax paid.
INTRODUCING BAVARIAN'S SELECT BEER
By early 1957 Bavarian needed a comprehensive plan to consider the various elements that needed to be coordinated in order to introduce their "New Look." Around January in 1957, Calkins & Holden drew up a detailed letter which outlined their plan for providing such an introduction to Bavarian's sales associates and employees. Afterwards, a more detailed outline needed to successfully launch their new look was prepared by Louis L. Schott, with input and approval from other management personnel.
Notices and Coordination: Once the packaging and design had been developed and approved by Bavarian's management, it was necessary to prepare letters and arrange meetings that would inform employees, retail accounts, distributors and the general public about Bavarian's "New Look." (For examples of the letters, along with newly designed stationery, see one for retail accounts and another to the general public.) (Also, see Stationary.) However, up until this point, Bavarian had wanted to keep the rebranding efforts private from their competitors. They were successful in doing so. Another important concern regarding the introduction of the new Bavarian's Select Beer was the necessity for salesmen-drivers and distributors to sell out their stock of Bavarian's Old Style Beer first. They informed their distributors that they would not be providing credit for their Old Style beer in a letter on May 6, 1957, along with a helpful reminder handout the distributors could supply to their drivers (shown on the side).
The Sales Meeting: To begin sharing the new image, a meeting for key Bavarian salesmen and distributors was held on May 18, 1957 at the Sinton Hotel. This Sales Meeting was held between 9am and 4pm and attended by 40 people. Lunch included a German buffet (see the menu) and each attendee received a T-shirt with the new 3-flag logo. The welcoming address was provided by Bill Schott (President), followed by more detailed presentations by Louis L. Schott (Marketing Director and Sec./Treas.), Larry Rinck (Advertising Manager), the ad firm of C & H (Bob Morgan and John Held), and the design firm of L & M (David Osler). Of course, Bavarian’s Select Beer was served during a social gathering after the meeting.
At the Sales Meeting, the primary packaging for Bavarian's Select in bottles and cans, as well as some promotional materials, were presented for the first time. Shown above at the Sales Meeting is Louis L. Schott addressing the attendees. Photos of the packaging provided by L & H to Bavarian are shown below, along with a picture of the t-shirt that was provided to all at the meeting. Rather than always using the three different colors together on the labels, it was sometimes necessary to use only one color for the labels, often with a complimentary color added as well. Those colors were red and yellow (with the blue and green in two of the flags omitted), as shown by the beer case and the t-shirt in the photos below. The Sales Meeting was also similar to a number of image-revealing meetings held for Bavarian's employees and retail accounts.
After the meetings held to introduce Bavarian's New Look, follow-up inquiries occurred in late May. Managers were sent a card that allowed comments to be made on Bavarian's New Look, shown below. Bavarian was pleased that the transition from their Old Style beer to their new Select beer went well. To emphasize their commitment in releasing their New Look to retail accounts, distributors and employees, Bavarian coined a phrase - Bavarian's Means Business - to help convey their competitive commitment. In addition, they supported their new image with television commercials on WLW-T (shown lower left). Cards were sent to all businesses who possessed alcohol permits in the Cincinnati area. Bavarian also composed and provided a letter that accompanied the TV announcement to the salesmen. Most importantly, there was a new, multifaceted advertising campaign using various media, as explained later in this section. However, it was also necessary for Bavarian to have more design work completed.
1957. Shown above are Source: Louis L. Schott from slides supplied to him by Lippincott & Margulies.
ADDITIONAL L & M DESIGN WORK
After Bavarian introduced their Bavarian's Select Beer, the initial design phase with Lippincott & Margulies (L & M) was completed. However, Bavarian was considering painting certain building areas and still needed additional designs for point-of-sale material, as well as their fleet of delivery trucks. Consequently, on a retainer basis, Bavarian continued to maintain their relationship with L & M into 1958, as discussed in the following.
Architectural Design Phase
On June 7th 1958, a meeting was held at the Bavarian Brewery between Bill and Louis Schott from Bavarian and David Osler and Dante Biencivengo from L & M. They met to address a plan for the future painting of the brew house’s interior, as well as other areas and the exterior. (Click here for the meeting summary.) Shortly thereafter, on June 12th, Dante sent a follow up letter to Louis proposing what was termed as an "architectural design phase." The proposal called for two stages; the first was for the most immediate interior painting needs. The goal would be to impart a strong corporate image, using signage to particularly enhance areas that could shape public relations, such as the entrance. The second stage was a five-year exterior painting plan that would complement the corporate image program. It is believed that some logo images were painted in the interior of the building, using a similar design as the exterior sign shown on the right, which existed on the Bavarian Brewery for many years. When enlarged, it can be seen that this sign was painted by Gus Holthaus. (His descendants now operate the Holthaus Lackner Sign Co. in Cincinnati.) The image below it shows the repainting of this sign in 2019; it is now located on the 12th Street side of the Kenton County Government Building. The completion of this second phase was intended to coincide with the completion of Interstate 75 next to the brewery, which was expected to be finished within five years. (As it turned out, the section of Interstate with ramps next to the brewery, which crossed the river into Cincinnati via the Brent Spence Bridge, was opened on November 25, 1963, about a year after the expected five-year completion date.)
Bavarian had a fleet of about 50 delivery trucks of six different types. It was necessary to repaint the entire fleet to reflect Bavarian’s modified name and its new logo. L & M assisted in this process by recommending colors and creating drawings for the lettering and decals for each type of delivery vehicle. A letter addressing this project was sent to Hughie Johannes with Bavarian from David Osler on July 23, 1957. Bavarian's most common style of truck was the "closed van." There were three variations of this type; one style is shown below on the left. Another truck style was the "A-Frame," depicted in the photo shown on the right below. In addition to these vehicles, designs were needed for the trailers and what was known as a "worksaver" vehicle. Decals were used on all the noted vehicles, except for the trailers, which needed to be hand-painted. The name “Bavarian’s” was originally intended to be painted gold; however, for better visibility, the lettering on the front and back of the trucks was changed to red instead.
c. 1958. On the left is a "closed van" and an "A-frame" van is on the right. Source: Behringer - Crawford Museum.
An Early Bavarian/s Tavern Sign
There was a need to replace many tavern signs with the new Bavarian/s logo and modified name. It is believed one of the first signs may have been rather long (six feet) and narrow. A photo of the prototype for this sign provided by L & M to Bavarian via Louis L. Schott is shown below. A color version of this sign is next to it.
1957. The image on the left above were obtained from a photo supplied by L & M to Louis Schott, and passed down to his son. The color photo of this sign is courtesy of Gary Schmeh.
Point-of-Sale and Advertising Integration
There also needed to be coordination between the various point-of-sale material L & M was designing and the advertisements that were being prepared by C & H. To address these concerns, a meeting was held on August 14, 1957, at the Calkins & Holden offices in NYC, with personnel from L & M and Bavarian in attendance. This event was noted in a conference report dated a few days later. Different types of point-of-sale (POS) advertising presented by Bavarian's Advertising Manager, Larry Rinck, were discussed. Such items included "shelf talkers,” appliques that would fit on shelf aprons used in supermarkets. An example of a shelf talker is shown on the right above, supplied by L & M to Louis L. Schott. Different variations are shown in the photo directly below it, along with its use in a display.
The Big Six Case Design
In addition a case for 12 ounce bottles and cartons for cans, Bavarian was interested in identifying a new way to package quarts. So, another item addressed in the above-mentioned report was the possibility of creating a carton that would hold six quarts. L & M presented a proposal for design modifications of a fibre carry-out returnable case for of this size made by Container Corporation. They proceeded on the assignment, but encountered various challenges, as discussed in a letter to David Osler with L & M sent to Louis Schott on August 23, 1957. These challenges were overcome and an example of "the Big Six" for Bavarian/s is shown on the left.
c. 1958. Source: Gary Schmeh.
Refinement of Illuminated Tavern Signs
In a meeting held a Bavarian on November 11, 1957, with Louis Schott and Larry Rinck from Bavarian, and David Osler with L & M, a conference report indicated that two types of tavern signs were explored. One was a neon sign that included Bavarian's name in red, three flags in white and "On Tap" in yellow, as shown by the image below. Another type of sign was referred to as fluorescent plastic in the noted report, however, it can also be referred to as a backlit sign. A possible design that was referred to in the report is shown below. There are other variations of this sign that can be viewed at Signs: Backlit.
CREATING A NEW ADVERTISING CAMPAIGN
To support their new image and look, Bavarian needed to launch a coordinated advertising campaign. The firm of Calkins and Holden (C & H) developed advertising from the designs created by Lippincott & Magulies. It was probably easy for both firms to coordinate this work, as they were both located only a couple blocks from one another on Park Avenue in New York City. Even though Bavarian was located almost a thousand miles away from these firms, and was working long before emails and text messages, the location differences didn't seem to pose much of an issue. Sometimes Bavarian and the ad men would meet in New York, and occasionally the NYC firms would visit Bavarian in Kentucky.
...brewed nature's way
The slogan for Bavarian's Old Style Beer had been "...Flavor at its finest" in 1956 and early 1957, before it was replaced by the theme "...brewed nature's way" for the new label. Because of the seasonality of beer sales, the new ad campaign was deliberately released in advance of the summer months, when sales reached their highest levels. The first ad for Bavarian's Select Beer with its new look came out in May, 1957, on the right.
The ad emphasized the "Beautiful new bottle (/label) ... and "the same natural goodness." It's noteworthy that the ad did not claim it had the same taste (even though it did.) A photo of the "Ideal Display" is also shown on the far right above. Because of the new design, there were concerns whether consumers would also think Bavarian was selling an entirely different beer and that it would have a new taste. There was a deliberate effort to try to skirt this issue and let customers decide for themselves. A series of artworks followed in 1957 with different scenes that, in addition to the new slogan, featured different adjectives for the beer - lively, refreshing, frosty, mellow and smooth. These illustrations are shown below.
The new design and slogan were prominently displayed at Crosley Field (where the Cincinnati Reds played) on a large billboard during the summer of 1957, as shown below. Another new aspect of the beer’s name, as shown on the billboard, is that it could be referred to as Bavarian/s, not just Bavarian's. Using the "/s" was a way to subtly refer to "Select" in the updated beer's name, as well as to its pluralized form.