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Baileys Irish Cream: Impressive? Yes. Effective? Oh Yes!
By: Edwina Owens Elliott
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There’s a stupendously original campaign running at the moment. And it deserves a really BIG shout-out.

The new ad for Baileys Irish Cream liqueur from London’s award-winning agency, BBH, absolutely rocks its 60 seconds of airtime. A tribute to the old Busby Berkley musicals from the Depression-era '30s and featuring Blondie’s 1981 hit “Rapture,” Cream With Spirit is stylish, contemporary, and the most creative spot airing today on either side of the pond.
It’s a modern twist on an old concept, the over-the-top movie musical. With flowing choreography, scores of graceful dancers and several overhead shots in full kaleidoscope effect, it’s given the total Berkley treatment, 2012 style. The original films, 42nd Street, Gold Diggers of 1933, Footlight Parade, etc. were shot in luscious black and white, of course. But the velvety browns and beiges in the Baileys spot, mimicking the liqueur’s creamy mocha hue, introduce rich color to the original black-and-white concept in a way that Mr. Berkley himself might even approve.
BBH’s Creative Team, Kat Bojcuk and Steve Sorec, create a vision of flowing chiffon and inspired fantasy. The pride in their accomplishment is clear in The Making of… video. And who wouldn’t be proud? Kicking off with a single ice cube dropped into a glass, the liquid morphs into the troupe of dancers. From the initial spin synchronized to mimic the liqueur’s languid flow to the swan-dive finale, it’s a brilliant piece celebrating today’s woman in all her pink, beige, and brown glory.
Choreographed by the talented Michael Rooney, son of Mickey, (if you don’t know Mickey Rooney, Google him!) the dancers are full of sass and wonderfully diverse, sporting tattoos and plenty of womanly attitude. The camera work, directed by French team Megaforce, is smart and on point. They're big in the world of music videos and it shows. Gloriously. Even the wardrobe — gowns of chiffon and satin, strappy pumps, a sleek one-piece, and the never-ending trail of a swirling wrap straight out of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert — is spectacular and proves once again that a little sex and a lot of style can sell just about anything.
It’s still too soon to say whether the new campaign, which broke in early October, has made an impact on sales. Released globally in markets including the U.S., Italy, Germany and China and supported by print, online, and outdoor advertising, the goal, according to the company’s press release, is to connect with women by evoking “the perfect blend of smooth and strong” while reinventing Baileys as “a more stylish and aspirational brand.”
Well, they've nailed it. Splendidly so.

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About the Author

Edwina Owens Elliott is a graphic designer, art director, illustrator and owner of FASHION+ART, an e-commerce art gallery. She has a lifelong passion for fashion, art, writing, music, movies, books, theater, cooking, gardening, plotting and planning and dreaming big dreams. Find her online here and here.

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