Baileys strikes an emotional chord with Chinese women by playing the BFF card
During my trip to Shanghai last month, after I hailed a taxi and settled down for the ride, a female voice came from a small screen installed in one of the taxi’s seats. It was a commercial for the launch of Baileys Mini Bottle (in 50ml and 200ml formats) in China. The commercial was set on a sunny winter afternoon, when two elegantly-dressed female friends got together to discuss fashion, take selfies with their smartphones, and appreciate paintings by Paul Cézanne. The commercial ended with the slogan: “Sisterhood time with Baileys Mini Bottle”.
Introduced into the Chinese market in 2005, Baileys has shown robust sales performance in China thanks to its strategy of targeting female consumers. As a result, in 2013 throughout Greater China, Baileys sales were up by 30%. Ahead of International Women’s Day in 2014, Baileys rolled out the Sisterhood Campaign and proclaimed April 17th as Sisterhood Day (the date April 17th sounds similar to “swear to be together” in Mandarin), encouraging Chinese ladies to celebrate the contributions their best friends or ‘sisters’ had made to their lives. Hosted on the Chinese social-networking site Sina Weibo, the digital campaign centered on three impactful short films, each telling an inspiring story about a pair of ‘sisters’. The brand also invited viewers to share their own stories of their special ‘sisters’ on social media. Driven by aggressive marketing campaigns, Baileys brand awareness has doubled from 40% in 2010 to become the top pick among liquor for women.