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 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 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.   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 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 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 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

From investigations 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.

Labels1.jpg

In making the final selection, there may have been some historical influence in modifying the name of Bavarian's Old Style Beer. 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.  Another influence on deciding on the new name and design, may have been the insights from some 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. 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, as shown in the illustration above on the far right. The 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,  with elements connected to both quality and tradition.  So, 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, 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 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. To do so, designs were needed from 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 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, 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 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. (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.

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. (See more Crowns.)

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, around January of 1957. 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 for meetings to inform employees, retail accounts, distributors and the general public about Bavarian's "New Look." (For examples of the letters, along with newly designed stationary, see one for retail accounts and another to the general public.)  (Also, see Stationary.) However, up until this time, Bavarian wanted to keep the rebranding efforts for their beer a surprise to their competitors. They were successful in doing so.  Still, an important concern with the introduction of the new Bavarian's Select Beer, was for their salesmen-drivers and their 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, and provided a helpful reminder handout the distributors could supply to their drivers shown on the side.

The Sales Meeting:  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.

As part of the Sales Meeting, the primary packaging for Bavarian's Select in bottles and cans as well as some  promotional material were presented. Shown above at the Sales Meeting is Louis L. Schott addressing the attendees. Photos of this 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 used the three different colors for the labels, it was sometimes necessary to use only one color for the labels, often with a complimentary color.  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.  This Sales Meeting was also similar to the meetings held for Bavarian's employees and retail accounts.

After the meetings to introduce Bavarian's New Look, follow up inquiries occurred in late May.  Part of this follow up obtained was with 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 emphasized a phrase that "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). These cards were sent to everyone who had alcoholic permits in the Cincinnati area. There was also a letter that accompanied the TV announcement to the salesmen.  Most importantly, there was a new advertising campaign using multiple medias, 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 contemplating the need to paint certain building areas and still needed some additional designs for point-of-sale material and their fleet of delivery trucks. Consequently, on a retainer basis, Bavarian continued to maintain their relationship with L & M to complete additional design work into 1958, as discussed in the following.

Architectural Design Phase

A meeting was held on June 7th with Bill and Louis Schott from Bavarian with David Osler and Dante Biencivengo from L & M at the Bavarian Brewery to specifically address a plan for the future painting of the interior of the brew house 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 with some signage to particularly enhance those areas culpable of imparting a strong public relations climate, 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, with 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, is the repainting of this sign in 2019, which is now 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 over the expected five-year period.) 

Truck Designs

Bavarian had a fleet of about 50 delivery trucks and there were 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" and there were three variations of it. One style of this van is is shown below on the left.  Another truck style was the "A-Frame" with a photo of it shown on the right below. Besides these vehicles, designs were needed for the trailers and what was called a "worksaver" vehicle. Decals were used on all the noted vehicles, except for the trailers that needed to be hand painted. One variation and an inconsistency that occurred with the truck signage, is that originally Bavarian/s was in gold. However, for better visibility, the lettering on the front and back of the trucks were 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. Next to it is a color version of this sign.

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 needed to be some coordination between various point-of-sale material L & M was designing along with the advertising that was being prepared by C & H.  To address these concerns, there was a meeting on August 14, 1957, at the Calkins & Holden offices in NYC with personnel from that agency, L & M and Bavarian. This was indicated 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 would include "shelf talkers" that would fit on shelf aprons used in supermarkets. An example of a shelf talker is on the right above, supplied by L & M to Louis L. Schott.  A couple different variations of it are shown in the photo below it along with its use in a display.

the Big Six Case Design

Besides a case for 12 ounce bottles and cartons for cans, Bavarian was interested in a way to package quarts. So, another item addressed in the aforesaid report above, was an interest in a creating a carton that would hold six quarts.  L & M presented a proposal for design modifications of a fibre carry-out returnable case for six quarts 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 sigh that included Bavarian's in red, three flags in white and "On Tap" in yellow, as shown by the image below. There were also a couple other variations of this sign that can be viewed at Signs: Neon.  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 new look, Bavarian needed to have 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 a thousand miles away from these firms, and it was much before emails and text messages, the location differences didn't seem to be an issue. Sometimes Bavarian and would meet in New York, and occasionally the NYC firms would occasionally 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.  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 were the greatest. The first ad for Bavarian's Select Beer with its new look came out in May, 1957. 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.)  Because of the new design, there were concerns whether consumers would also think it was a different beer and that it would taste different.  There was a deliberate effort to try to skirt this issue, and let customers decide for themselves. A series of artwork followed in 1957 with different scenes that, in addition to the new slogan, featured different adjectives for the beer, e.g. refreshing, lively, smooth, frosty... A couple of these illustrations are shown below, including in the photo of the "Ideal Display" below. More of these can be  viewed at Ads:1957-1966.

1957.  The brewed natures way slogan is on the Bavarian billboard at Crosley Field above on the left. A cartoon style ad featuring the German word Unglaublich (Incredible) is in the middle. Bavarian's receptionist, Grace Robinson, and the assistant Brewmaster, Henry Wetzel, are shown with the new bottles of Bavarian/s, are on the right.

The Bavarian Girl

After the initial advertising for Bavarian's beer released, the ad firm of Calkins & Holden had been contemplating a way to bring continued interest to the new look of Bavarian.  One such attempt was to use German words to gain some interest in the ads in connection to a person or character. This was previously done in the Cincinnati area even before Prohibition when the term "Was you effer in Zinzinnati?" was used to promote both cooperage and beer.  A phrase used for Bavarian/s in the summer of 1957 was "Unglaublich" (Incredible), which was used in cartoon ads, with one of these shown above.  (For others, please see Ads: 1957-1966.) More importantly, a decision was made to have a young, attractive local woman be a spokesperson for their beer.  In late 1957, a competition was held by running a few ads ran in local papers  to find this lady.  The winner of the Bavarian Girl of the Year was Brenda Cotter.  As indicated by her title, it appears there was an intention to select a new girl each year.  To find out more about Brenda, please visit Ads: Brenda. To help publicize their ambassadress, Bavarian made arrangements for her to travel to different locations in Germany beginning in early 1958. Additionally, different German words were used in different ads featuring Brenda during her visit to Germany. (See below.) 

To reduce their costs with this promotion, it appears Bavarian collaborated with some companies involved in Brenda's trip. This probably explains why the ads often referenced the airline Brenda used for traveling (SAS) and a local department store (Shilito's) for furnishing her wardrobe on the trip, as seen above.

According to a letter from Louis Schott to C & H, there was an interest to modify the original "brewed nature's way" slogan, most likely to make it more connected to the meaning of the symbols on its label (Time, Tradition & Skill) and to the "Old World" that Brenda was visiting.  Therefore, the original slogan "brewed natures way" was modified to "brewed the old world way...natures way" - in the winter of 1958. This transition is depicted in the first three ads above.  Beginning in the spring of 1958, and about a year after it was introduced, they saying  "natures way" was drooped and the new slogan was simply "brewed the old world way." The phrase is shown in a couple of the ads on the left above. The explanation for this change is discussed in more detail below.

 

Complications arose for the Bavarian Girl and her sponsor not long after she arrived in Germany.  Some brewers in Bavaria felt as though her photo shoots may have been promoting Bavarian/s beer too closely in association with their own beers. Understandably, these brewers in Bavaria were not excited about having such an implied and unwarranted relationship with an American beer.  After some negotiations and assurances, the photo shoots for Bavarian/s avoided any places directly connected to breweries or beers in Bavaria.  The Bavarian Girl finalized her journey returning back home, albeit with some additional publicity surrounding this  somewhat controversially situation.  Undoubtedly, this was not in the original game plan for the ad agency that came up with the idea of having an ambassadress for Bavarian's touring Germany, Calkins & Holden.  However, assuming there is no such thing as bad publicity, the overall campaign with the Bavarian Girl was still  successful.  Even so, it may have dampened the possibility of another Bavarian Girl for the following year. 

Brewed the Old World Way

The decision to drop the phrase "nature's way" altogether, as mentioned above, was addressed in a conference report for a meeting held on January 8, 1958 at the offices of Calkins & Holden, 247 Park Avenue, NYC.  It was attended by personnel from this agency as well as from L & M and Bavarian.  Along with Bavarian/s new look, it appears Louis expressed an interest to use the term "Old World" in the slogan with this beer. This helped connect the Bavarian's Girl to the "old country" she was visiting in Bavaria, as previously mentioned.  But "Old World" was also similar to "Old Style," which had previously been part of Bavarian's name. So, there may have been a subtle effort to provide some connection with the new and contemporary image of Bavarian/s to its old name through the beer's slogans. An example of a unique tavern sign, which could stand or be hung with this revised slogan, is on the side.

Enjoy Old World Quality...American Style

In late 1958, Bavarian/s slogan was slightly modified again, as previously mentioned.  Rather than indirectly connect Bavarian/s too closely with the Old World (e.g. Bavaria), this may have been a way for Bavarian to distinguish their beer from foreign beers, because of the addition of "quality" and "American Style." Please view and click the image on the side, promoting this slogan. This ad features a classic stoneware stein and alpine style home, along with a a glass featuring the Bavarian logo. According to some correspondence, it appears these glasses may have been made for Bavarian by Libbey in Toledo, OH - the "Glass City."  It should be noted that the aforesaid slogan was Bavarian's last before merging with International Breweries Inc. (IBI) in the spring of 1959.

RECOGNITION OF BAVARIAN/S NEW LOOK

Both Bavarian and their design firm, Lippincott & Margulies, were very pleased with the re-design of the Bavarian beer label and the brewer's new brandmark.  L & M considered it to be their best work of the year, and submitted it to Industrial Design Magazine's "Annual Review" of the best designs created in America. This was conveyed to Louis Schott by L & M's Public Relations Director, Madelon Bedell, in a letter on October 2, 1957. Considering that L & M created such designs as the Betty Crocker spoon, the ribbon mark for Coca-Cola, the three star design for USS Steel (later used by the Pittsburgh Steelers)... there was certainly some elation and satisfaction in the results L & M achieved for Bavarian.

 

In addition, in the early fall of 1957, L & M submitted Bavarian/s label design in the brewers' label contest at the 17th annual convention of the Brewer's Association of America.  Out of more than 100 submissions, Bavarian/s label was a finalist, receiving second place. 

A microbrewery in the same city where the Bavarian Brewery was located, Covington, KY, recently began offering  Bavarian Style Select Lager, using the identical three flag design that was used for Bavarian/s Select Beer.  The reuse of this design 50 years after it was designed designed, in some way, indicates the success that went into this design.  However, this micro-brewer is also reusing a design that they didn't invent or design themselves.  Granted, designs, trademarks and copyrights expire over a certain period of time. Still, it is believed some acknowledgement and homage is warranted to those individuals and firms that were involved in the development of Bavarian/s logo as presented in this section, particularly Louis L. Schott, Bavarian's Marketing Director, and of course the design firm of Lippincott & Margulies.

​SOURCES:

Newspapers.com and Cincinnati Enquirer

Schott, Louis L., correspondence, letters artifacts and recollections, passed on to a descendant.

Schott Family Collection, Behringer Crawford Museum

 

The background image was an Ideal Display Setup for the introduction of the new label for Bavarian's Select Beer.

This photo was obtained from Bavarian's design firm, Lippincott & Marguilles and the files of Louis L. Schott.

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