Treat myself? Oh go on then

Indulging has historically been considered as both frivolous and childish. But our social listening tool told us that as a result of demanding lifestyles, people are increasingly spending money and time on “kidulting” experiences.

Jocelyn Turlan

Strategy Director RPM


In one of the episodes of the award-winning podcast The Guilty Feminist, Deborah Frances-White recounts the story of her assigned weekly challenge: sit alone at Patisserie Valerie and unashamedly order (and eat) as much cake as you can.

“I’ll have pancakes with mascarpone and maple syrup”

“Anything else?”

“Ooh, and cheesecake and ice-cream”

“Anything to drink?”

“A hot chocolate with whipped cream, please.”

She looks up, patiently expecting the disapproving frown. Instead, the waitress lights up and enthusiastically says, “Yes, EVERYTHING for you!” while energetically patting her arm.

One wonders why it’s not easy for people to indulge themselves and embrace playful and impulsive moments. Then we rewind a few years back. Protein World was shocking the marketing world and consumers alike with the Beach Body Ready campaign; the empowerment movement, perfectly embodied by This Girl Can, was only just rising. But, if anything, over the last 24 months, betterment was becoming pervasive and disguised, hidden behind positive attitudes and feint encouragements. Being a grown-up wasn't becoming less serious but rather just another tied-down ambition of becoming the best person you can be. Effort equals reward.

Indulging has historically largely been considered frivolous and childish. And the world of branded delicacies seems to agree. For instance, adults eating ice cream is either played in an unrealistic and polished universe or in a fantastical world, never in real life with real life needs to take it easy and treat yourself! Guilty pleasures you should earn permission for.

Most of us at some point or another need to break out of this model. Your iWatch can count your steps, apps check in on your sleep, we are constantly able to give ourselves a hard time for not being productive enough. But who monitors the long hours and stress of daily life that ultimately exists in our modern lives?

Our social listening tool told us that as a result of demanding lifestyles, people are increasingly spending money and time on “kidulting” experiences, celebrating #foodporn moments on Instagram and buying “don’t count the calories” Starbucks Christmas lattes in abundance. Therefore, efforts cannot always simply be measured. Rewards come in a moment where you can hear “Yes, EVERYTHING for you today!”


Baileys Treat Bar

Having spent some time apologising for its gloriously delicious and naughty product, Baileys started to celebrate new moments and ways of treating oneself with its new brand positioning in 2016. As the co-conspirators in the pursuit of indulgent fun, a behaviour we absolutely love, we had to instigate treat moments and create millions of triggers to encourage people to unapologetically indulge in life’s pleasures.

The Baileys Treat Bar pop-up in Covent Garden is a space where people can meet, play and indulge in unapologetically over-the-top drinks. The space itself needed to make people feel at ease, borrowing from familiar destinations such as coffee shops, ice cream parlours and cosy living rooms whilst encouraging them to behave differently, free from the usual social pressures. Everything from neon signs to the snug area inherently feels permissive and celebratory. The menu is an ode to extravagance and a dream to the grown-up child in every one of us.

After a successful launch in 2017, the Treat Bar is now becoming larger than its pop-up space, both in its physical and conceptual form. It stands as a rallying cry and space for adult treating moments. The integrated campaign is part of a movement that shapes and champions modern indulgence, aligning Baileys forever more with the phrase “Oh go on then”.

RPM, London
Guest Author

Jocelyn Turlan

Strategy Director RPM


Joce joined RPM over 3 years ago. He supervises strategic outputs for Diageo across RPM’s innovation, business, creative and channel competencies. He stubbornly believes in infectious stories, relentless passion and critical thinking to push toward culturally relevant and commercially efficient outputs. Because strategy is a way of thinking, and a passion, rather than a job title, Joce also teaches strategy to MBA students and is a partner at Group Think, a grassroots community of 800+ strategists in London and Dublin who believe in the power of conversations.

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