Baileys: A radical brand turnaround story with extra sprinkles

IPA Effectiveness Awards Case Study 2018

Although a loved drinks brand, Baileys was consumed infrequently and in small amounts. Sales were declining by 8% a year. To restart growth, the ‘Don’t mind if I Baileys’ strategy re-framed Baileys as a real adult treat. Creative highlighted the versatility of Baileys as a food and drink ingredient using a channel mix including TV, programmatic, and social content. Following the activity, the number of ways people consumed Baileys grew by 30% and sales volumes increased by 11%. This case estimates there was a 54% increase in annual net profit despite lower investment.

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The last two years of the “Don’t Mind if I Baileys” campaign have been full of valuable lessons for not only the Baileys team, but also the broader Diageo business, and our industry as a whole. Our story is a reminder that the brands we shepherd needn’t be forever beholden to the conventions of the categories they came from. We should be confident in future-proofing our brands through finding more dynamic category contexts to play within. When we need to drive volume, investing all in the ‘blockbuster’ isn’t the be all and end all. In fact, a strategy based on getting the right content in front of more of the right people at the right times can be even more effective. We also learned that focusing upon our brands’ purposes also needn’t mean reverting to lofty and ephemeral causes. Instead, use purpose to drive meaningful and relevant connections with your consumers - and to do that, don’t dismiss a focus on what people actually love about our brands; the products we make. For Baileys specifically but also Diageo as a whole, this case is a demonstration of the power of a simple strategy to galvanise an entire team and ultimately, an entire business. Something we as marketers know is fundamental to the success of today’s biggest brands. But most importantly, this is a lesson in how radically reframing our brand delivered the highest advertising ROIs of any Diageo spirits brand in any market in Europe. And that was only possible because, collectively, we never forgot the importance of always looking to learn and always striving for better.

Sheila Cunningham, Baileys Global Head of Planning, Diageo

Winners 2018

Silver Winner


Baileys: A radical brand turnaround story with extra sprinkles







Principal Authors

  • Katie Mackay-Sinclair - Mother
  • Jack Farrelly - Mother
  • John Thomson - Carat

Contributing Authors

  • David Hartley - Data2Decisions
  • Sheila Cunningham - Diageo
  • Kate Mudd - Diageo

Credited Companies

  • Data2Decisions - Econometrics

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