CAMPAIGNS: Product Positioning - Baileys attacks heat with ice

Client: United Distillers and Vintners of North America (Hartford, CT)

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

impressions overall.


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?’

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