Client: United Distillers and Vintners of North America (Hartford, CT)
Client: United Distillers and Vintners of North America (Hartford,
PR Team: Cairns & Associates, New York
Campaign: Welcome to Baileys’ Chillville Ice Beach
Time Frame: June 1 to August 30, 1999
Budget: dollars 200,000
It was like trying to get people to snow ski in summer. United
Distillers & Vintners had always promoted Baileys Original Irish Cream,
one of its best-selling brands, as a winter drink. But United wanted
NY-based PR agency Cairns & Associates to reposition it so it came to
mind during the spring and summer, too.
Baileys had already created an event concept, ’Chillville,’ for bars to
mix summer-style drinks.
Cairns was brought in to create something that would be highly visual
and memorable. The agency was restricted, however, by laws about outdoor
drink promotions. Only New York’s Bryant Park would allow beverage
imagery to be used as part of the promotion. No sampling was allowed,
though Baileys gave out recipe cards for drinks such as chocolate
Cairns came up with the idea of hiring ice sculptor Scott Rella to
construct a beach scene, complete with a 10-foot cabana, beach chairs,
beach balls, pails and shovels and the Baileys logo - all made of ice.
Rella also became a spokesman for the promotion.
The nine-member team checked the weather to find the hottest days of the
year to ensure maximum attention for the ice event. ’We told the media
we were dealing with ice and it was a very warm day,’ says Cairns senior
VP Paula McMartin. That helped get the media there. As for the public,
the park is popular with lunchtime office workers.
The base of the sculpture was completed at Rella’s studio, where it was
filmed for a B-roll package. The finishing touches were then added at
the park. The public event helped Cairns gain man-on-the-street
reactions to the event to add to the prerecorded footage. Rella also
sculpted a special Today logo from ice for NBC. By 1:30 pm, once the
B-roll and sound-bite package was on the satellite, the ice began to
With the summer-long heat wave a hot news topic, the sculpture was the
perfect way to illustrate the heat and get Baileys’ name associated with
the summer. The story was picked up by CNN Headline News, CNBC and Talk
Soup. And over 100 stations nationwide aired the B-roll package.
Newspapers, including the New York Daily News and Latino paper Noticias
Del Mundo, also went for the story, The event attracted 149 million
Cairns is already working on 2000 projects for Baileys. The team is
looking specifically at a winter/spring strategy and to capitalize on
the company advertising slogan, ’Why Ration Passion?’