Baileys Original Irish Cream, which launched a Web site earlier this year, has just unveiled its first banner campaign.
The effort, which began to appear last week and runs through the end of November, involves banners running on 22 sites represented by ad network Real Media. The banners promote an online version of the game Truth or Dare, a new addition to Baileys' PleasureDome site (www.baileys.com).
The banners will seek to publicize new aspects of the site and drive traffic there, primarily from locally focused sites. More importantly, the effort marks a shift in Baileys' online budget away from site maintenance to site promotion. "Last year, there wasn't the budget [for online promotion]. It was a terrible mistake," said Deborah Loth, creative director at Lowe Howard-Spink new media unit Lowe Digital.
The baileys.com venue, an entertainment and community area, targets adults age 25 to 35. It launched Feb. 14 and was created by Baileys agency LHS in London. Lowe staffers recently tweaked the look of the site, but more significant changes will come this year. Real Media sites on the schedule include The Washington Times, The Florida Times Union, Lancaster Newspapers, Now TV, the Wilkes-Barre Times Leader and The Danbury News-Times.
The U.S.-focused campaign was coordinated out of London. Loth said the agency will collaborate with local distributors to keep all campaigns consistent in tone and style. The site's only previous online promotion was a one-day banner buy during the site's launch.
Baileys' move comes as the liquor category has become more aggressive online. Canadian Mist, for one, recently launched a sponsorship on N2K.
The buy is also a coup for Real Media, which managed to block out all competitors for the business. "We've found a London office can bring money into the U.S.," said Real Media president Dave Morgan.
Loth said singling out Real Media made the buy easier, since there was only one point of contact for the transaction. Real Media also represented local media brands that played into Baileys' goal of linking people in cyberspace and the real world, she added.