In the past year, Bates Southwest in Houston has not been above some over-the-top showmanship to get into reviews.
In August 1997, Bates built a 10-foot high luggage float to parade in front of Continental Airlines' headquarters in Houston during the carrier's review (eventually won by N.W. Ayer in New York).
Now comes the contest for Shiner Bock, the Texas dark beer made by San Antonio-based brewer and importer The Gambrinus Co.
Gambrinus recently pulled its ad account from Houston's Fogarty Klein & Partners, but has not yet decided on plans for the brand.
Anxious to parlay its parent company's experience with Miller beers, Bates officials last month erected a billboard across the street from Gambrinus' headquarters. "Dear Gambrinus--Bates Builds Better Brands," the board declared.
Gambrinus officials said they were flattered but had no current plans to meet with Bates. --Glen Fest