Bavarian Bier Cafe – now with less thigh slapping

bavarian_bier_2bavarian_bier_3The Bavarian Bier Cafe chain is reposition its brand in a bid to move itself away from its thigh-slapping associations.

A new campaign, masterminded by Step Change Marketing, will aim to position staff as “artisans” delivering high quality products.  

bavarien bier cafe

Step Change Marketing strategist Ashton Bishop said: “We naively thought we were heading to a novelty or themed restaurant but it was far from it. We were greeted by contemporary decor, a great crowd, amazing food and, frankly, the best bier in the country – all the best bits of Bavaria without any of thigh-slapping antics that happen at the novelty venues. We knew if we just distilled the story of the ‘in-café’ experience the brand would accelerate its success”

The chain, owned by Bavarian Hospitality Group, currently has seven restaurants in Sydney, with another set to open in Brisbane.

Nicola Ekas, brand manager for Bavarian Bier Cafés, said: “We’re focusing in on what makes us unique. It’s not enough just to be Bavarian, you have to be true to what that means today – that’s passionate staff and first-class food and beverages, prepared to the very highest standards. Our new campaign communicates this brand promise in a meaningful way, highlighting everything we constantly deliver on in each venue.”

Media strategy – based on mobile scooter billboards – was developed by Slingshot.  Beck Hamilton, communications director at Slingshot Media Ventures, said: “The major challenge for media was addressing seven separate locations and their local media nuances. MediaV scooters provided the strongest solution by offering the strength of an outdoor campaign, the efficiency of mobility and the consistency of message across multiple destinations.”


  1. Bull Schnitz
    2 Nov 10
    2:26 pm

  2. “We knew if we just distilled the story of the ‘in-café’ experience the brand would accelerate its success”

    What a load of s**t, their old ads were heaps better.

    They had a bit of charm to them, this looks like it was a first thought, created by suits.

    That Stein glass isn’t even in focus and looks like it was shot on an iPhone.

  3. Kevan Baker
    2 Nov 10
    3:59 pm

  4. Nice move away from those cheesy adverts, it was a step away from opening up a Romanian cafe with vampires serving bottles of true blood. It’s a sorry state of affairs when “agencies” flex their expertise and come up with the thigh slapping and placing the brand within “Inspector Clouseau Ocktoberfest” style stereotypes.

    As for dear Mr Schnitz, the fake name tells us all we need to know about the conviction behind your remarks. By the way, maybe the glass isn’t out of focus, maybe it was painted? It was the brushes that gave it away for me…

  5. franksting
    2 Nov 10
    5:01 pm

  6. Ashton Bishop said: “We naively thought we were heading to a novelty or themed restaurant but it was far from it.”

    Has he even seen the staff? Lovely people, but “artisans”? Clearly your level of strategic thought needs to involve a visit to a real brewery.

    This “strategist” should focus on learning the definition of irony

  7. What's The Issue?
    2 Nov 10
    5:19 pm

  8. I love the new direction – it’s much more appealing to females and now that it’s moved away from the cheesier image of the past I’ll be much, much more likely to suggest it for social outings and work functions. Bavarian is perfect for a larger group that doesn’t want to have to sacrifice on a nice experience due to large numbers that most of Sydney’s finer establishments snub – and now it’s moved in a direction my friends and boss’s will more easily slot into.

    Obviously this place is doing something right – every time I go it’s packed to the brim!

  9. Bruce Blasko
    2 Nov 10
    5:21 pm

  10. Mr Schnitz, it’s meant to be a painting, not a state of the art photograph.

    I like the idea for a new campaign, something a bit less cheesy and makes me more inclined to go and visit this venue. Looks far more interesting now than it did before, and I’m glad their not interested in thing slapping.. so tacky.

  11. Si
    2 Nov 10
    5:30 pm

  12. I quite like it.

  13. dk
    2 Nov 10
    5:55 pm

  14. “We were greeted by contemporary decor, a great crowd, amazing food and, frankly, the best bier in the country…”

    What is it with brands trying to change the English language to fit their corporate identities? If it’s not Jalna going on about having the best “yoghourt”, it’s these guys going on about the best “bier”.

    What next? “We found it very kwik to kopy things…” ” It was so ezy to rent a video…” “We couldn’t believe how krispy and kremy those donuts were..”


  15. Bull Schnitz
    2 Nov 10
    6:14 pm

  16. There’s more to making something look like a painting than just shooting it out of focus. Surely it should have brushstrokes like the background then…

    Also, why are the bricks out of focus while the picture frame remains sharp? The shadow suggests that they are in close proximity.

    I’m sorry but it’s a hack job, and very forgettable at that – which is probably a good thing when you think about it.

    Their old ads actually stuck in my head because they were a bit different. This looks like any ad I’ve ever seen ever.

  17. Bruce Blasko
    2 Nov 10
    7:48 pm

  18. the background is out of focus, because standard portrait photography is, that is a professional effect having the background blurred, caused by the depth of field and focal point of the lens chosen. It highlights the focus on the person/object that it is meant to be highlighting. Eg the chick and painting.

    There are brush strokes in the background of the painting, in the sky…

  19. Anonymous
    2 Nov 10
    8:30 pm

  20. There seem to be a lot of people from the agency defending what is essentially a very average campaign here.

  21. Bruce Blasko
    2 Nov 10
    9:26 pm

  22. I’m not from the agency I can tell you that much. I don’t live in Sydney, live in the country, and work for a government sector – not an ad agency. I’d be pissed if I did, I’d expect more money than what I make!

  23. ashton
    3 Nov 10
    9:13 am

  24. @Anonymous
    Hi, I’m from the agency, and this is actually our first post.

    It seems there might be a few ‘anon’ people who are dining out of sour grapes for some reason. A dish best washed down with a cold Bier or two! (Geman spelling, not marketing wank)

    We hadn’t actually felt the need to defend our work on the forum, and we certainly welcome any comments (positive or constructive) – but we certainly do stand by our work.

    Whilst we won’t be entering this in for creative awards, the BBC punters we’ve tested it with love it and it’s really doing a job for our client’s business.

    The story of how it was created is true. The bier, food and staff make the experience. We just brought this into ‘focus’.

  25. version
    3 Nov 10
    9:22 am

  26. I like the olds ads better. These ads are boring.

    I thought the old media placement on taxis and buses was good as well. Scooter ads are ok when they’re on the road, but they’re nowhere near as present as taxis and buses.

  27. Nezma
    3 Nov 10
    9:27 am

  28. Herzlichen Glückwunsch eine hervorragende neue Richtung. Fantastic das Personal tatsächlich in den Anzeigen geben, zeigt eine klare Verbindung auf die Integrität der Marke. Es bringt die Bayrische Kultur auf Australien in eine echte Möglichkeit mit Leidenschaft, gutes Essen und natürlich hervorragende Bier. Leicht zu kritisch sein, aber ich Fragen, wie viele von Ihnen, die kritisch werden jemals Bayern besucht haben?
    Ich möchte ein großes Bier bitte!!

  29. Deanne Constantine
    3 Nov 10
    9:30 am

  30. I thought as leading marketers we would be commenting on the courage & commitment Bavarian Cafe has taken versus their photography approach.
    It’s refreshing to see a Cafe take leadership and stand for something.
    It’s simple, you get it. Congrats. Looking forward to trying the place out.

  31. mumbrella
    3 Nov 10
    9:57 am

  32. Or as Google Translate puts it:

    Congratulations on a great new direction. Fantastic give the staff actually in the ads shows a clear link to the integrity of the brand. It brings the Bavarian culture in Australia in a real way with passion, good food and of course excellent beer. Easy to be critical, but I question how many of you who are critical have ever been to Bavaria?
    I would like to have a great beer!

  33. Clayton
    3 Nov 10
    10:51 am

  34. As a frequent visitor of the Bavarian Bier Cafe, i think the new ads are OK.
    A bit cheesy, but they’re reflective of the ‘good times’ i always have there.

  35. freddi
    3 Nov 10
    1:20 pm

  36. Nice job!! I quite like the new concept.

  37. Gav
    3 Nov 10
    3:56 pm

  38. I like it – we don’t really need to be reminded how German the Bavarian Bier Cafe is – we get it. It’s good to be told a bit more about what you can actually get there, and how it will appeal to a wider demographic (including females as stated above).

    Everywhere sells beer, and every pub sells schnitzel, so it’s pretty brave (and I think works well) to emphasise that there’s schnitzel, and there’s good schnitzel.

  39. dazza
    3 Nov 10
    5:35 pm

  40. well done guys! Lovely new look. Nice to see you focusing on the core fundamentals of the company which is good food, great staff and even better beer!! keeping it simple with a clear message.

  41. mumbrella
    3 Nov 10
    6:12 pm

  42. Glad you like it, Dazza. Almost as much as Freddi, who I see shares the same IP address as you.


    Tim – Mumbrella

  43. Mark
    3 Nov 10
    9:12 pm

  44. what city are these in? Never heard of them

  45. Jeff Cooper
    4 Nov 10
    9:02 am

  46. Hey Mark,

    Thanks for your interest in the Bavarian Bier Cafés. They have eight locations across Sydney and Brisbane.

    Chatswood (just opened)
    Entertainment Quarter
    O’Connell St (CBD)
    York St (CBD)

    Plus, a brand new one in Brisbane (just opened)

    You can find out more here –


    Jeff, GM, Step Change Marketing (the BBC’s Creative and Strategic Agency)

  47. Jonno
    4 Nov 10
    10:38 am

  48. Looks to me like this is all about the art of a nice cold beer! I like it. Now I need a beer, or should that be bier!?

  49. Tom
    4 Nov 10
    5:29 pm

  50. Bavarian Bier Cafe is the worst excuse for German/Bavarian food. The only thing that makes them fell German was the waiters outfits and Geman Bier they served.

    I’ve been their twice thinking that my first poor experience was a one-of fail, but the food was crappy the 2nd time aswell, not to mention the staff have no idea about the beir or food they serve.

    That was two outings I could have had Una’s at Surry Hills, Essen at Ultimo or Lowenbrau at the Rocks where the staff know their food and beverages and they haven’t just hired school kids to run the joint.

    Sorry I just can’t stand it being called the Bavarian Bier cafe when there is nothing bavarian about it and my experience with them twice was crap.

  51. Bavarian bier cafe waitress
    23 Nov 10
    4:50 pm

  52. @ Tom

    You do know that Lowenbrau is a part of the Bavarian Hospitality Group – right?

    For me as a part of the floor staff I experience firsthand the extensive training when it comes to the food, bier and culture on a regular basis. I can vouch for my personal visits to any of the venues around Sydney, have been a delightful experience.

    I would recommend that you take a step back and consider the possibility that perhaps the two times you visited the café, perhaps the staff you were served by were recently employed.

    Like any other venue it is hard to offer the whole ‘Bavarian’ experience on every single occasion, if you have been on the job for merely a couple of days – as well as on a very busy day. I can assure you that we always aim to do so, and the company’s success speaks for itself.

    Despite what a lot of self-appointed advertising connoisseurs might say, the company seems to blossom. There’s no arguing with that point I’d think, sp they must be doing something right.