Miss Rheingold revived

This time she'll be one of New York City's bartenders

Feb 14, 2003 - The Rheingold Brewing Co. has put a new spin on the once famous Rheingold Girl with hopes of resurrecting the beer brand in New York City.


The new campaign represents Rheingold's second shot in five years at the $40 million New York metropolitan area beer market, the largest in the country. The previous effort, in 1998, proved unsuccessful as the marketing program that played up its macho personality and heritage failed to attract younger audiences.

Armed with a new infusion of capital from private investors and a new marketing team, Rheingold is focusing on hometown appeal. The beer bills itself as "100 percent New York by volume" and has new packaging, a clear glass bottle with a painted label that miimics its own packaging in the 1920s. Rheingold uses its 1930s ad slogan "Good Beer" on the bottle caps.

Miss RheingoldMiss Rheingold

The company is aiming the promotions at hip downtown New Yorkers in the 21- to 29-year-old range, the key age group for most beer companies.

"I think our target audience is looking for simplicity, honesty and authenticity, and is attracted to brands that are tried and true," said Neil Powell, president of New York-based Powell, the ad agency that created the campaign. "We are a blue-collar, honest, no-frills beer, and that is basically how we're coming back."

The new Miss Rheingold — who will be selected in March — will make guest appearances and appear in billboard advertising, just as she did in the 1950s when the contest drew millions of ballots and competed with Miss America in popularity.

The new Miss Rheingold, however, will be one of New York City's bartenders. "We don't think of her as a beauty queen," Powell said. "When you see the women, obviously they are attractive, but they are real people selected because they personify what Rheingold stands for."

Rheingold has decided to aim its $1 million promotions budget at "culture drivers" within the young population of New York. These trend setters are found in neighborhoods like the Lower East Side or the East Village and often set the style for the larger population. The focus is on infiltrating the local bars, clubs and music scene in neighborhoods around the city, said Tom Bendheim, Rheingold's chief executive.

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