This is crap

Christian Moerlein Lager House - Wrigley South

Wrigley South. Really?

Christian Moerlein Lager House - Wrigley South

Page 15 in last week's Steam-Punk inspired CityBeat Magazine

Brand spanking new Banks tenant and neighbor of the Cincinnati Reds and Great American Ball Park, Christian Moerlein Lager House, place an ill-designed and worded advertisement on page 15 in the April 25 issue of Cincinnati CityBeat. Advertising a special aimed at baseball fans attending this week’s series with the Cubs, the phrase “Wrigley South” was placed in a graphic inspired by the famous marquee at Wrigley Field. As a Reds fan and a proud Cincinnatian, this is a utter punch to the gut.

While “Wrigley South” is a term that GABP earned a few years ago describing how Cubs fans would out number Reds fans during their match-ups in Cincinnati, using that as a concept to advertise your restaurant is utterly ridiculous. Is pulling a little business your way from visiting fans (mostly from Indiana?) for a couple of days while slapping the fanbase that supports you 12 months out of the year across the face worth it? Like you need to advertise IN CINCINNATI to Cubs fans. Or, was that even a consideration… Did you actually think that “Wrigley South” was a general phrase that Reds fans embrace and celebrate? Either way, the Lager House is absolutely SLAMMED before and after Reds games right now. I walked by after Saturday’s win against the Astros (4/28) and the line to just get on the waiting list was wrapping around the building outside. You hardly need gimmicks to get people in door right now.

Not to mention that Christian Moerlein is CINCINNATI’S beer! With a tradition of brewing in Cincinnati going back to 1853, you’d think that Cincinnati pride would be at the top of their priorities. Apparently not.

What shall we do? Boycott? Picket? Tar and feather? Go to Johnny Rockets instead? Whatever, I don’t have time for that crap. It’s our hope at OMGreds that enough Reds fans (and the Cincinnati Reds themselves) put enough heat on the Lager House’s marketing and advertising folks and let them know we’re not going to stand for it. Be a good neighbor. Your neighbors have been outstanding to you since you’ve opened your doors. You have a business to run and investors and/or ownership or whoever to perform for – we get it. You also have a responsibility to be good to your neighbors and to your community.

Bottom line? Don’t alienate your neighbors to speak directly to a bunch of people that were likely already coming to your restaurant to be begin with. Your neighbors and your community won’t stand for it.

Oh, and if we hear that Old Style is on tap at the Lager House bar, we’re going to go bananas. Absolutely bananas. Count on it.

UPDATE 4/30/12 9:32 PM: Christian Moerlein Lager House issued an appology on their Facebook page earlier today in response to the uproar their ad in CityBeat caused:

Fans:

We admit the upcoming promotion for the next Reds series was unfortunately misguided with respect to message, and we are truly sorry and apologize if we’ve offended any fans.

Our intention was to help cheer on our Reds and give visiting Cubs fans a taste of what makes Cincinnati so special, showcasing our great new riverfront and our city and to bring positive exposure to it. It was not intended to root for the away team, and we apologize if it was taken that way. We are Reds fans through and through. We are going to call this promotional event what it was truly intended to be “a rally for our Reds.”

We personally missed it, but we heard Lager House CEO Greg Hardman went on air this afternoon with Bill Cunningham and apologized to Reds fans.

We’re happy to hear that their intention was not to undermine the pride we all share for our Reds. Given their rich history in Cincinnati, it’s hard to believe they’re anything short of Rabid Redleg Rooters like the rest of us.

Their intended message certainly missed the mark and Reds fans let them know they felt. It’s time to forgive, forget and continue supporting the Lager House and Christian Moerlein beers as well as all our local businesses.

35 Comments

  1. Well done Dan. I hope this gets heard!

  2. Thanks for the article Dan and thanks Cincinnati for taking Moerlein to task on their Facebook and Twitter accounts. I’ve sent them a letter myself. Very disappointing for what I was hoping would become another Cincinnati institution, so to speak.

  3. Moerlein Lager HouseNo Gravatar

    Hey everyone. hold up a sec! Yeah, we admit it might have been a little confusing, but “Wrigley South” is A RALLY FOR OUR REDS! It’s a chance to cheer on our Reds and give visiting Cubs fans a taste of what makes Cincinnati so special! We are REDS through and through…always and forever!

  4. Adam RosalesNo Gravatar

    Do you really not understand how sarcasm works? I thought it was funny. I haven’t been to any of the Banks bars yet but Moerlein Lager (not “Larger”, by the way) House will now be the first one I go to.

  5. Moerlein Lager HouseNo Gravatar

    BTW – We’re not selling Old Style we are exporting Cincinnati!

  6. JoeNo Gravatar

    What do you expect from Moerlein? They’ve barely even a local brewery – until a few months ago, ALL of their beer was brewed in PA and WI (and even now most of it is). Their beers aren’t very good either. The only reason the Lager house is ever packed is because it’s premier location.

  7. RubbaNo Gravatar

    Didn’t see the Wrigley ad. I was looking at the one below it.

  8. RedszoneNo Gravatar

    Adam Rosales – Whether it was a misunderstanding or not, there was actually nothing sarcastic about that advertisement. So I’ll turn your own question back around to you.

    Moerlein Lager House – Consider hiring a copywriter. How any Reds fan was supposed to view “Wrigley South” as a “rallying cry” is a pretty big stretch without having any more explicit explanation of what’s going on. Sounds more like backpedaling to me from your end. Hope I’m wrong.

  9. BoiiinngNo Gravatar

    Do you know why so many fans from Chicago come down here to watch their team? It’s because their stadium sucks and they want to experience how fancy GABP is. I should know. I was just up there at Wrigley for the last series. What a dump.

  10. fasteddieNo Gravatar

    Really???!!??? AGAIN Cincinnati copies another city!

  11. ZackNo Gravatar

    Time to hit the airwaves with this one. Let’s get it to Mo Egger, 700WLW, etc and hit the Morlein Lager House where it hurts. Enough Reds fans would get pissed off about this to hurt their sales here in Cincinnati, for sure. Might not thwart their business in the Lager House due to it’s location and trendy nature, but we can’t let this stand. What’s next…a party for the Steelers at “Heinz Field West” or the Cardinals at “Busch Stadium East”? What a joke. Morlein should be ashamed.

  12. ScottRolen'sScruffyBeardNo Gravatar

    This is no surprise.

    What a bunch of yahoos.

    The good news? The Cubies are in town – ripe for a sweep.

  13. Adam RosalesNo Gravatar

    I’m kind of ashamed that so many fellow Reds fans aren’t clever enough to understand the joke here.

  14. jabNo Gravatar

    Yeah, I don’t get the advertisement at all.
    For one, Moerlein Lager House is a beer hall, restaurant, tap room and not a stadium as is Wrigley Field.
    Two, it doesn’t make any sense other than telling visiting Chicagoans that we don’t have enough identity of our own so we refer to our place as an extension of theirs?
    Gives off a second rate feel to the city and undermines our history as the better baseball organization and beer town.

    Poor promotion all around.

  15. BradNo Gravatar

    Well written, Dan! If I have my information correct, Moerlein is not even a tenant of The Banks…it is sitting inside City of Cincinnati park property. Bad form, Moerlein, bad form. Take a cue from your neigbor a few hundred feet to the north: when the Reds signed Votto, Holy Grail printed and hung a banner over their door thanking the Reds.

  16. DanNo Gravatar

    Moerlein Lager House – Thank you for responding. While we are rubbed the wrong way by the approach of the ad, we are not interested in boycotting or telling anyone to avoid your business. We are very happy the Lager House is at The Banks and is open. Enjoyed a couple of good Moer Burgers there already, actually. We do want to make sure that you knew that we (Reds fans) are paying attention and if something doesn’t sit right, we’ll let you know. This is certainly the case. The intended sarcasm or rallying cry missed the mark, unfortunately. Judging by your immediate willingness to engage fans and explain where you are coming from gives us indication that you’ll carefully craft your messages in the future. We believe all Reds fans can and will appreciate that.

    Again, thank you

  17. TicklerNo Gravatar

    Beer and Brats, yeah that’s cute.
    Tough to focus on the easy sarcastic sling when in big letters above reads “Wrigley South”.

  18. NoahNo Gravatar

    Nice attempt to save yourself Moerlein. Get rid of the add, the only option for maintaining integrity. I’m sure you’ll still be packed everyday because Cincinnati pride is a dying status but if the long History of the best Cincinnati beer is to maintain pride than you best not cater to cubs fans. Worse than vendors selling steelers gear outside of Paul Brown.

  19. Mike SNo Gravatar

    Just posted on Facebook by Moerlein Lager House

    Fans:

    We admit the upcoming promotion for the next Reds series was unfortunately misguided with respect to message, and we are truly sorry and apologize if we’ve offended any fans.

    Our intention was to help cheer on our Reds and give visiting Cubs fans a taste of what makes Cincinnati so special, showcasing our great new riverfront and our city and to bring positive exposure to it. It was not intended to root for the away team, and we apologize if it was taken that way. We are Reds fans through and through. We are going to call this promotional event what it was truly intended to be “a rally for our Reds.”

  20. I’ve put forth some real disastrous attempts at humor in my time–from just “crickets chirping” all the way up to “duck the things being thrown at your head.”

    I’ve also tried the “No, really, it was a joke, see??” approach to fixing the situation, but the more you say it, the more you sound like a jerk. Like the guy who sounds snide when he says, “Nice shirt” and then just digs himself deeper every time he says, “No really, I think it’s nice. Seriously, it’s nice!”

    I’m not sure I buy that this was ever actually intended to be a joke, but either way, the only way to stop the bleeding is to apologize and keep your head down for a while. Glad to see that message is starting to come through.

  21. I’d be glad to sit down with the warring factions and establish an accord.

    Gregg/copywriter

  22. BamaHalNo Gravatar

    What’s wrong with Moerlein Lager House marketing to the Cubs fans? The Lager House was not there last year and all they are doing is letting the Cubs fans they are now. If this bothers you, you really need to get a life and stop the fake & foolish outrage over a marketing strategy. Too many other things to get outraged over! Maybe your boycotts will be sucessful and you’ll put a some employees in the unemployment lines, now, that is something to be outraged over.

  23. TerryNo Gravatar

    I find the “outrage” over this ad to be pretty silly. Cincinnati needs to get used to the idea of people from other cities coming into town and going to their ballpark. And be happy about it. We live in a great city with a great park, and we should WANT Chicagoans or other visitors to come here and have a great time. I don’t even think the ad appears to be “rooting” for the Cubs. Give Christian Moerlein a break! They’re just having fun. You should try it.

  24. Who says we don’t realize fans from other teams come to our games? St. Louis fans come here in droves. The Moerlein owner has been touting his beer is from Cincinnati for years, though it was brewed in Wilkes-Barre for years. Only recently can they say that Moerlein is locally brewed.

  25. ChrisNo Gravatar

    Those here criticizing Reds fans for being fickle are obviously missing the point. The simple fact is that this ad has – by every indication (here and on Facebook/Twitter) – upset a lot of Reds fans. Whether or not that was the intention of MLH is irrelevant. Whether or not it was a joke or sarcastic (which I do not feel it was – Why waste money to place an ad that sarcastically invites Chicagoans to your establishment? Makes no sense.) is irrelevant. If it upsets so many fans, then it is a horrible, counterproductive ad that will ultimately do more harm than good. That is the point.

    Oh, and call me fickle all you like, but when I’m downtown this week for the games I will be much more inclined to stop in the Holy Grail after this little stunt.

  26. DaveNo Gravatar

    I smell an “Axk Marty.” I’d love to know what the Hall of Famer thinks of the ad!

    When the Lager House’s ad/marketing guy asked if he could start telecommuting from Skokie, it should have sent up a red flag.

  27. isaiah53No Gravatar

    i personally think any cubs fan will be shocked that something was fianally built in the “blanks”

  28. EvanNo Gravatar

    So, if a new bar outside Wrigley Field called itself Great American North, it would be a slam on Reds fans? Nice try Lager House. Just fess up and cut the spin …

  29. BradNo Gravatar

    You all need to get a life! If you give a sh.t you are ridiculous,

  30. Brad…. so you didn’t care that much, which is why you obviously read the whole article and all 29 messages up to the point that you just had to post your own post? Interesting. Sounds like the actions of someone who doesn’t care.

    Personally I think it’s GREAT that “the people” of Cincinnati are upset. They should be. Did the Lager house do this on purpose to get a rise out of everyone? I highly doubt it. Seems really unlikely. Just a bad idea that got a little out of hand now.

    My guess? The Lager house will still have a line around the building come game day. Hopefully it’s a good mix of Reds and Cubs fans….because we need to support local business in this time (whether they brew here or not) and we need to have our tourists spend their money too! HOPEFULLY they all get so drunk they get arrested and have to pay fines to get out of jail too… then the county can have some extra money to pay off the stadium fund deficits!

  31. Adam RosalesNo Gravatar

    I’m liking this place more and more now. That means when I go there I won’t have to hang around a bunch of morons that would be so offended by an ad like this that they won’t go there anymore. They have definitely earned my business.

  32. Michael HuberNo Gravatar

    What a bunch of thoughtless bufoons. Leave it to a few overpaid airheads in the promotional department and watch the chaos unfold. Where has common sense gone? Why target out of town fans for a few days, when you have a great fanbase that supports your business on a daily basis right here in town? I’m looking for a job. Why not hire me just to replace the desultory fool that conceived this slap in the face to Reds fans?

  33. DanNo Gravatar

    You might not like it or understand it, but the fact is Moerlein Lager House just lost some major business. Maybe not this weekday series, but I guarantee they will see a dip in sales. Why? You just alienated your target market.

    What a huge marketing mistake. Look, who is Moerlein Lagers target market? The answer is young twenty something men, most likely big sports fans. Sports fans that don’t always act with logic. They’re emotional and passionate about their team. These are the guys that drop 30-40 bucks every weekend in sports bars. They go to Reds and Bengals games. They tailgate. They might even go to your bar on the weekend to watch games on the big screen with buddies. They’re the ones that will pick up a six pack of your Moelein Lager on the weekend. Uh…. you just p*ssed them off and maybe for a long time. They just had a really negative emotional reaction to your ad. That’s not exactly the ideal way to build brand loyalty. You might as well changed your beers name to Old Style and Steel City Beer, because they viewing your product as the enemies beer now. Sad? Maybe, but it’s the truth.

    Can you imagine Old Style and Steel City beer running ads for Cardinal and Browns fans? No way in heck that happens. Why? because they know their target market and they now have brand loyalty. I can’t imagine anyone actual drinks Old Style or Steel City because it’s good beer. They drink it because they associate their beloved team with the product.

    On top of that, first impression are everything and Moerlein Lager House just blew it. I havn’t made it down to a game this year, so I didn’t even know Moerlein Lager House had even opened. I’m sure I’m not the only Reds fan either. What’s my first impression of the new bar. Ah yes, that’s the Wrigley South bar…..scr*w that place, I’m going to the Holy Grail.

  34. EricNo Gravatar

    My only hope is that the Lager House has traditional toilets. That way I can “upper-deck” them when I finally get my chance to go…

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