1957 - 1966
Besides sponsoring radio programs as mentioned in the 1940's and 1950's, Bavarian also created musical ad jingles that aired on the radio between songs in the mid 1950's and possibly as late as around 1960. Please click the advertising slogan that was being used during this period "How About That?" to listen to this jingle. Another version of this jingle is listed below under IBI Advertising, but can also be heard here.
INTRODUCING BAVARIAN'S SELECT BEER
Bavarian Brewing Co. decided to develop a new image for their beer starting around 1955. But it wasn't only because their sales had declined over the past couple of years. Around that same time there was a brewer in Wisconsin who decided a couple years earlier that they wanted the exclusive use of "Old Style" for their brand. Even though Bavarian had been using this phrase as a part of their brand previously for several years and in different marketing areas, this other brewer didn't want Bavarian to use this term as part of their beer's name. So, this was likely another motive for Bavarian to modify the name of their beer, besides wanting to redesign their beer to improve their image and marketing.
It appears Bavarian hired the advertising firm of Calkins & Holden, located at 247 Park Avenue, NYC, around 1956 to propose a new design and marketing strategy for Bavarian. They conducted research, came up with new labels, and developed a marketing campaign. It was also decided to modify their brand name to Bavarian's Select Beer (and Bavarian/s). The word "Select" in the new name replaced the words "Old Style" in the former name. Dozens of different label designs were considered, and the one selected by Bavarian/s is as shown on the right. Besides using the noted ad firm (think Mad Men), they also hired Lippincott & Margulies, Industrial Designers in NYC, to assist them with an architectural (color) change to the brewery, packaging assistance and bar signage. This rebranding process was instituted to distinguish Bavarian/s from the other local brewers and was not confined to simply a change in their beer label. They needed to repaint their fleet of a few dozen trucks, develop a new advertising campaign, phase out the Old Style beer as they brought in the new Bavarian/s beer, create new promotional items, etc. It was a major investment and undertaking for the owner's of the brewery. (Please see History: Introducing Bavarian's Select.)
UNGLAUBLICH. Bavarian/s ... like old-county beer.
To help introduce a secondary theme in 1957, and pave the way for some additional use of a few German words in future advertisements in the following year, Bavarian introduced some cartoon like images starting with Unglaublich, meaning Incredible or unbelievable.
Vas you efer in Zinzinnati? The use of German expressions, such as the aforesaid phrase, had been used with advertising in Cincinnati decades earlier. The area had a strong German heritage and the new advertising was attempting to connect this heritage along with the name of the beer and certain specific German words. This was extended into the next part of the advertising campaign, and by having a Bavarian Girl.
THE BAVARIAN GIRL, Brenda
Having a young lady to serve as an ambassadress for Bavarian, and to be known as the Bavarian Girl, was part of the strategy of the Bavarian Brewing Co.'s ad agency, Calkins & Holden, and also supported by their design firm, Lippincott & Margulies, both based in New York City. To find the Bavarian Girl, Bavarian Brewing Co. launched a search for a local young and wholesome lady to represent Bavarian's Select Beer in late 1957. The winner would visit Germany with photo sessions used in ads to help promote the beer locally. The winner and Bavarian Girl of the Year was Brenda Cotter. Brenda was from Dayton and had graduated from Julienne High School in 1956. Previously, she did some modeling and entered some beauty pageants. She was crowned Azalea Queen of Montgomery Co., OH in 1955. After high school, she worked at Cypress Gardens in 1956 and was crowned Grapefruit Queen later that year. In 1957 she returned to Dayton to be involved in a few Dance Party shows on WLW-D. Late that year she was selected to be Bavarian Girl of the Year - for the following year. With her title she traveled to various parts of Germany in early 1958. Afterwards, in late 1958, she became a model for a shampoo brand and appeared on a couple of CBS shows. She returned to Dayton later that same year and, being an enterprising lady, opened Brenda Cotter Models that same year. It operated until around 1960. No further additional information about her has been obtained. However, if you know what happened to Brenda, please let us know.
In the ads above a slogan "brewed the old-world way...nature's way" was used for the first couple of months. Thereafter, the term "nature's way" was dropped from the ad campaign. However, in March, 1958, "brewed" was also eliminated and only "old-world..." was used with the Bavarian Girl ads, to apparently better connect Brenda in the ads to her visits in the old world. In addition, various German words were utilized with the Brenda ads. They included Auf Wiedersehn (goodbye) - when she left for her trip to Germany, Bierliebhaber (beer lover), Prosit (Here's how / to your health), Gemütlichkeit (friendliness / comfort), Fantastisch (fantastic), Fasching (exciting and happy), Schön (beautiful), Jawohl (yes siree) and Fabelhaft (terrific). An interesting aspect with most of the Bavarian Girl ads is that they included some secondary advertising for the airline used by Brenda, SAS, and a local department store that supplied her clothes, Shillito's.
Brenda was the first, last and only Bavarian Girl. Even though her title Bavarian Girl of the Year indicated there would be future Bavarian Girls, it never materialized. That's because In early 1959 it was announced that Bavarian had been sold to International Breweries Inc. (IBI) based in Detroit, MI. (See the IBI Years.) IBI had a different concept of advertising, which tried to make its other brands more similar to one another by using some of the same advertising slogans. Just before this sale in early 1959, Bavarian modified their advertising strategy emphasizing Old-World Quality... - as shown by the ad on the right.
After Bavarian was sold, its Advertising Manager, Larry Rinck, resigned. Two of the Schott Family members with ownership interests, William C. and Lou Schott, also departed immediately after the sale. The Marketing Director, Louis L. Schott, who also was an owner and worked on creating the new image for Bavarian, resigned a couple years later. He then joined another family business, the Cincinnati Galvanizing Co. The only member of the Schott family to remain with Bavarian under IBI between 1959 and 1965, was its former president, William R. Schott, who became the General Manager of Bavarian, a Regional Vice President of IBI and an IBI Board member.
SCORECARDS / PROGRAMS - For the Cincinnati Reds at Crosley Field
As shown in the prior section of Bavarian Ads: 1946 - 1956, Bavarian Brewing Co. had a billboard next to Crosley field. They continued to have the billboard thereafter into the mid 1960's. In the 1957 photo shown on the right is the new name, Bavarian/s, the new logo and the new them "...brewed natures way." (Please see Signs: Billboards, for other outdoor signs.) Also displayed below are ads featuring Bavarian/s that appeared in Red's Scorecards (Programs) at Crosley Field for 1964, 1960 and 1958. (To learn about other involvement Bavarian had with the Reds and athletics, please see Sponsorships.)
Innitially, it took about a year before new print ads were placed for Bavarian/s by IBI after they acquired the Bavarian Brewing Co. Below is one of the first such ads placed by IBI announcing the new bottling plant IBI built for Bavarian/s. It was completed in mid 1960 and a large ad appeared in both Cincinnati papers, The Enquirer and the Post & Times Star, to celebrate this commitment and accomplishment. Enlargements of the photos in the ad are provided on the bottom right. A slogan that was briefly used around 1960, and possibly earlier was "How About That?" It headlined the top of the aforementioned Post & Times Star ad. Associated with the phrase was a radio jingle that can be heard here.
The IBI MEL-O-DRY Ads
After the ad about the bottling plant was published above, there didn't seem to be any other print ads in the local paper for about another year. This one was to recognize the Reds for wining a pennant in the fall of 1961 and playing the Yankees in the World Series, as shown below right. (Unfortunately, the Reds lost.) It was next to a complimentary ad from a local Cincinnati department store chain, Mabley and Crew. This appears to be the first Bavarian/s ad that mentioned the Mel-O-Dry slogan, even though IBI used it with their other brands from over a year earlier.
In early 1962 IBI began to roll out more print ads for Bavarian/s with the Mel-O-Dry slogan, as shown in the collage below. One of the earliest of these promoted a successful "Cap are Cash for Charity" Campaign. However, their other ads often featured men (as Bavarian's had done previously). Since IBI had acquired four other brewers over the previous four years before acquiring Bavarian in 1959, rather than having completely separate ads and themes for the different brands, they used the same Mel-O-Dry theme to tie together all their brewers. Sometimes even the same photos and copy were used for their different brands as well as similar promotional items, just with the different names of their brands. One unique ad that did not refer to Mel-O-Dry was the ad on the far right below that celebrating nearly a century of brewing at Bavarian.
The ad above was taken from a larger photo presented in the Early Riedlin Years taken in December, 1902. It includes the founder of Bavarian Brewing Co. on the top far right, William Riedlin Sr., and his son, William Riedlin, Jr., sitting second in from the far right. This ad belonged to Lucy Riedlin, who identified her family members mentioned as "Papa" and "Will."
An interesting aspect with the two 8-Pack ads above is the difference with the labels on the beer. The earlier ad to the far left had labels that replaced the images on the flags with IBI. However, the later ad returns to the images of Time, Skill and Tradition. IBI standardized most of their brands with very similar labels (See the add in the lower left below and Beer Labels.) A similar effort was made to make Bavarian/s more identified with IBI with the first ad. However, possibly due to the success and acceptance of the Bavarian/s image, it was the only label of IBI's brand that wasn't completely changed, other than for a brief time. This was probably because the former President of Bavarian Brewing, William R. Schott, who was still in charge of the Bavarian Brewery, on the Board of IBI and whose family had owned the brewer that had significant ownership in IBI, likely wanted to retain the logo. After all, he had approved that design along with other family members after considerable effort and cost, and his brother, Louis L. Schott, was instrumental in developing that design.
The Last IBI Ads for Bavarian/s
Near the end of 1963, when the Mel-O-Dry slogan was apparently curtailed, there seemed to be an absence of print ads for about a year, until around the end of 1964. There may have been a change in the advertising agencies, but IBI also had financial difficulties at that time and closed their Tampa plant in 1963 and had a new CEO in 1964. For this last round of Bavarian/s ads by IBI beginning in late 1964, the first-prize awarded to Bavarian/s at the international beer tasting Gambrinus in Belgium in 1962 was recognized along with a new slogan, "Things Liven Up with...the Bold Beer." Instead of using a man or a woman, IBI used both, by featuring couples in their last ads. This theme was also featured on some outdoor wall signs. (See Signs: Billboards.)
The Award-Winning Taste ad on the far right bottom, which also shows a globe, actually took the bottom of two pages. Unfortunately, it may be a little misleading because not all IBI beers won first-prize at Gambrinus in Belgium; only Bavarian/s received the award. This is indicated on the ad centered on the top row, which displays the award.
ADS AFTER BAVARIAN BREWERY CLOSED
When IBI closed the Bavarian Brewery in Covington, KY, in 1966, Bavarian/s was still made outside Cincinnati afterwards. An ad promoting Bavarian/s is shown on the right. Even though Bavarian/s was made at a few different plants into the 1970's, no other print advertisements have been found.
RECENT PROMOTION OF BAVARIAN SELECT
In late 2017, Braxton Brewing Co., a microbrewery in Covington, KY, started to make and serve a lager using a similar desgin from Bavarian/s Select Beer, but calling it instead Bavarian Style Select Lager. Braxton also claimed that they acquired an original formula for the beer, which would be over 50-years after the Bavarian Brewery in Covington was closed. The promotional display below includes a label that Braxton created for this brew. What is different from the original Bavarian/s Select label, is that Braxton added "Style," replaced "Lager" for "Beer" and the name of the brewer was placed next to the left flag, rather than wrapped around the side of the label. (Please see Labels.) Beginning in January, 2020, Braxton began to distribute this beer in cans.