Creating, Implementing & Introducing
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 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 them. 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 decide to hire some 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 also involved the founding principal, J. Gordon Lippincott. Bavarian also hired one of the premier advertising firms in New York, Calkins & Holden, in January, 1957. Obviously, one of the first steps was selecting a new name and having a design that complemented the name. To do so, some research was conducted, as discussed in the following.
SELECTING A NEW NAME & DESIGN
From the research provided to the design firm of Lippincott and Marguilies (L&M), it was discovered that Bavarian's had a loyal group of consumers, but that their beer was not appealing to many new beer drinkers. According to the research, the image for Bavarian, as depicted by its trademark and part of its name, was "old." 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.
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 some clarification among these two men is believed warranted. They 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 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, and then left 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 as 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.
In making the final selection, there may have been some historical influence in replacing the name of Bavarian's Old Style Beer. If you're familiar with Bavarian's Pre-Prohibition beer names, and one introduced shortly after Prohibition, you may be familiar with a brand named Riedlin's Select Beer before Prohibition. So, the previous use of "Select" may have been a factor. Another influence on deciding on the new name and design, is that some focus groups were used. 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. That happened to be what was finally determined. It may be doubtful they actually influenced the final decision, but they liked to think they did. Therefore, the new name became Bavarian's Select Beer. Even though the name was slightly changed, most importantly, there would be no change in the way people would still refer to the beer - as Bavarian's.
In developing the design for this "select" beer, certain elements and illustrations were considered. The one used was an oval shape with three colorful flags, and a different symbol and meaning within each flag. Theses symbols included; an hour glass (for Time), a crown (for Tradition) and a hand with grain (for Skill). The overall contemporary design was intended to attract younger consumers. However, with elements connected to both quality and tradition, there were reasons to expect that most of Bavarian's older and existing customers could be retained as well. Further, from a design perspective, the use off three triangles was a powerful feature that drew interest to the logo. Of equal importance, this new design could be used on all types of packages and displays, and in more limited color variations.
DEVELOPING A PACKAGING PROGRAM
Deciding on the new name and design was only one step in creating a new image for Bavarian's Select Beer. The next step was for the design firm of L&M to create a packaging program.
Labels, Cases and Cartons: Specific labels for different size bottles and with different alcohol content were needed, along with development of new cans. The crates and cartons containing the bottles and cans would also need to be developed. These designs were needed by L&M before Bavarian could unveil the new design and begin advertising to develop a new image. Those images below were supplied and approved by Louis and others at Bavarian, and they want into production as this new look and image was being introduced.
Crowns / Bottle Caps & Keg Caps: As part of the bottle packaging, it was also necessary to create new crown or bottle caps. Because Bavarian primarily sold their beer in Ohio and Kentucky, they needed to comply with the regulations for each state for these crowns. Each required that their state seal be placed on a bottle cap, and Ohio required that their seal would be centered. Further, the colors of the caps 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. 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. (For the specific tax paid for each crown, please visit Crowns.)
1957-1959. On the left are keg caps, which were actually a few times larger than crowns. The colors of these 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." Calkins & Holden provided a detailed letter outlining a plan to provide such an introduction to Bavarian's sales associates and employees, possibly in late January of 1957. It assisted in creating a more detailed
elements. , while at the same time keeping the plan relatively confidential in an effort to surprise their competition.