Smirnoff "icing" drinking game, is it an agency made viral or a human made viral?

dpstyles™ Iced by his brother

The New York Times has an interesting article up Popular New Drinking Game Raises Question, Who’s ‘Icing’ Whom?. The new drinking game called "icing" is a bit like a drive-by beer-bong game, where players 'attack' each other with sugary alco-pops a.k.a Smirnoff Ice. You simply hand the lukewarm drink to someone else and s/he has to down the whole bottle in one go, standing on one knee.

The only way to shield yourself from drive-by icings is to carry a Smirnoff Ice on your person at all times. This is of course faboo for sales of Smirnoff Ice.

The game has exposed the mercurial line between guerrilla advertising and genuine social media trends, raising questions about how young consumers can know when they have co-opted a brand for their own purposes, and when that brand has co-opted them.
“Guys who would never buy Smirnoff before are even buying it now to shield against attacks,” said Kevin Wolkenfeld, a junior at the University of Central Florida in Orlando who documented the phenomenon for the school paper. (According to the rules, the only way to block an attack — besides simply refusing to participate — is by carrying a bottle.) Most players — a widening swath of the campus, he said — would probably stop “if it turns out they’re being used to market a drink they really don’t like.”

Smirnoff's parent company Diageo couldn't say that they started it even if they had, since it goes directly against responsible drinking, and the game centers on the fact that drinking warm Sminoff Ice is less than pleasant. They deny all involvement. Now, if you want to torture your pals with a lukewarm sugary Sminoff Ice, here's the how-to.

Photo credit: dpstyles™ as he was iced by his brother.

about the author

Dabitch Creative Director, CEO, hell-raising sweetheart and editor of Adland. Globetrotting Swede who has lived and worked in New York, London, San Francisco, Amsterdam, Copenhagen and Stockholm.

Comments (2)

  • kamari's picture

    Human made viral. The whole idea centers around how gross the drink is. As soon as frat brothers and Jersey shore people tire of it, the drink is over.

    Jul 04, 2010
  • W. C. Stevenson's picture
    W. C. Stevenson (not verified)

    Funny enough, Smirnoff actually made the founders of the site 'bros-icing-bros' take down their site because of 'bad publicity.' Morons.

    Jun 08, 2011