New 'Icing' Drinking Game Is Boom or Bust for Smirnoff?

Kim Conte


Perhaps you've heard of "icing" -- what The New York Times is calling the newest viral drinking game, in which participants force each other to drink entire bottles of Smirnoff Ice. (Ugh, have you ever tasted that stuff? Please, god, help me to never be "iced.")

Here's how it works ...

(These rules come straight from the classy site, Bros Icing Bros.)

  1. Hand a friend a (preferably lukewarm) bottle of Smirnoff Ice.
  2. This friend must then drink the entire bottle -- all at once -- on one knee. Refusal to drink the beverage results in immediate "excommunication," which means that you can no longer "ice" another participant.
  3. However, if the friend who has been iced is carrying another bottle himself (and I'm using the male pronoun here because it's mostly young male professionals who are playing this game, go figure), he can "reverse the ice."
  4. "Ice reversal" means that the original icer now has to drink both bottles of Smirnoff Ice -- the ultimate insult.

Got all that?

For whatever reason, this binge-drinking game has gone viral -- with new blogs devoted to the topic; photos documenting recent "icings" being posted to Twitter and Facebook; and even an online campaign to "Ice Ashton Kutcher." And sales of Smirnoff Ice are up in some college towns, particularly in the South.

Some advertising experts wonder if, in fact, Smirnoff itself is behind the growing trend. It makes sense, sort of: Most guys under ordinary circumstances wouldn't be caught dead with a Smirnoff Ice. But now they're buying bottles in droves in order to protect themselves from being "iced." Oh, the irony.

On the other hand, the game's premise is based on the fact that having to drink a Smirnoff Ice is an insult -- remember me gagging at the thought of the taste above? So why would an alcohol company want to be associated with a game that is essentially making fun of their product?

To me, the whole thing sounds stupid -- buying a product you hate just so you can partake in a trend. But then again, this is a drinking game we're talking about. And rarely is logic ever associated with binge drinking.

Have you heard of "icing"?

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