The pop-up lounge opened yesterday and will be open through 28 August in Lab Concept, a trendy shopping destination in the city's Admiralty district.
The new hazelnut flavour was launched last January but was only available regionally in duty-free shops. Hong Kong has now become the first market in the region to sell the new product, which joins the brand's other flavours: original, coffee and caramel.
The TVC (above) shows off the new, taller and slimmer bottle design (pictured below). Both are clearly calculated to attract women.
In fact, Baileys, which launched in Ireland in 1975, has always tried to appeal to female consumers, according to Christina Shum (沈亮) brand manager, Moet Hennessy Diageo (MHD) Hong Kong (pictured below, toasting the audience). Shum told Campaign Asia-Pacific that in those days women did not often go to bars, and also did not like beer or spirits, so Baileys developed its cream-based liqueur to cater specifically to them.
Shum added that even now, the core customers are women aged 25 to 34, although the brand is not "pushing men away".
Weber Shandwick Hong Kong, which has been working on Baileys' PR account for two years, has helped with the launch the pop-up store. Jeremy Cheung, the agency’s vice president for the consumer-marketing practice, said that with its wide range of trendy fashion and cosmetics shops targeting female shoppers, Lab Concept a better venue for an experiential tasting than conventional department stores and supermarkets.
The agency helped to invite Baileys’ VIPs from its list of facebook members (the brand has 18,500 fans) and members of the media to the event. It also invited Desmond So (蘇頌輝), host of TVB Pearl’s lifestyle programme to talk about etiquette, and stylist and blogger Faye Tsui to share tips about fashion and styling.
The new global TVC, developed by BBH, debuted on TVB Pearl this week and will run for three weeks. PHD is the media agency.
Shum reported that in the US market, more than 48 per cent of Baileys' sales come from coffee shops, which have been offering Baileys coffee in their menus, and the company is open to collaboration with coffee shops interested in this trend in Hong Kong.
In response to customers' comments that Baileys is too sweet, Shum explained that Baileys has 17 per cent alcohol for a 50 ml glass containing 175 calories, while for whisky, the alcohol level is 40 per cent with 150 calories.
The brand sold 82 million bottles of Baileys last year worldwide, Sum said. In the Asia-Pacific region, Australia was the top market, followed by China.
Currently Baileys has licenced Häagan-Dazs to offer a Baileys ice-cream flavor, but Shum said the brand is focused on the drinks business and won't be venturing into other categories, even though she noted that many people favour the liqueur for cheesecakes, tiramisu and macarons.