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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.

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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).