Eurovision Song Contest Brand Strategy Diageo

Inside Baileys’s 3-year Eurovision Song Contest deal


By Hannah Bowler, Senior Reporter

May 11, 2023 | 6 min read

From watch parties and Baileys-infused Ukrainian cakes to a Dublin drag night hosted by Conchita Wurst, here’s how Baileys is activating its Eurovision sponsorship.

Baileys signs up Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst as its ambassador

Baileys signs up Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst as its ambassador / Baileys

The Diageo-owned whiskey liqueur has inked a three-year deal with Eurovision to expand its ‘adult treat’ brand platform and introduce Baileys to a younger demographic.

Baileys’s global marketing director Paul Carton sat down with The Drum ahead of Eurovision 2023 to unveil his content plans and reveal the alignment between Baileys and the song contest.

Seven years ago, Baileys set out plans to be a brand recognized as an “indulgent” adult treat. Adapted for each territory the strategy has led them to execute in Mexico for the Day of the Dead or Australia, for example, where Baileys amplifies coffee and the weekend. Carton says that strategy had brought them “huge success” so far, but the team was keen to find a bigger way of expressing its brand platform.

Carton and his team started bouncing around the idea of Eurovision based on the notion “it doesn’t get more indulgent” than Eurovision. “Baileys tends to elicit a smile on people’s faces and there's a huge affinity to the brand. Eurovision is the same – as soon as you say it, people smile,” Carton says.

“It is the biggest live music event in the world with 180 million viewers, so from a brand perspective, it’s obviously a huge reach,” Carton says. The event’s biggest audiences are Europe, Australia and Canada, which are Baileys’s core markets.

Recruiting younger consumers from the legal purchasing age (LPA) is also a key objective for the sponsorship deal. In last year’s grand final under 25-year-olds accounted for 56.2% of the audience profile, proving younger demos are drawn to the contest. In 2023, Baileys will run mass marketing but Carton explains that for years two and three, its campaigns will be more targeted. “We will use the first year as a test and learn and understand what audiences it engages with and then use that to inform years two and three,” he says.

Baileys Eurovision content plans

Since Eurovision is traditionally watched in groups, Baileys has focused its content around ‘watch parties’ where it encouraged friends and family to make Baileys-themed cocktails. To amplify this strategy, Baileys tapped former Eurovision winner Conchita Wurst as its ambassador, producing cocktail-making recipe videos.

On the night of the Eurovision Song Contest Final on May 13, Baileys will host watch parties at key locations around Ireland including Opium, Dublin and Boneyard, Belfast. Cocktail kits will be sent to influencers and the press. Carton explained how this strategy not only drives engagement with the brand but also encourages trials of Baileys.

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Baileys also tied with the Ukrainian pastry chef, Dinara Kasko to create a ‘Baileys Eurovision Celebration Cake’. The traditional Kyiv cake is infused with Baileys and shaped into a heart to celebrate the 2021 Eurovision winners.

Baileys at The George

A special Eurovision edition of the ‘SaturGays’ drag party in Dublin’s The George was hosted by Baileys with a surprise appearance from Wurst and a Baileys cocktail bar and photo booth.

“There’s a huge opportunity for us to bring these two brands together and to create something really special and for us to add some delicious drizzle on the top of Eurovision.”

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