Thanks to mark e who left me a comment on my post about motivation.
"btw I suspect the trick is to get people doing something neat that others can copy. The enormous social signal of a pint glass with ice in it is just such a behavioural meme.
On wine suggestions:
Hugh at http://www.gapingvoid.com and his Stormhoek have blended something to suit the ice-cube usage occasion."
That story came out the day after I posted my thoughts I think (I regularly read gapingvoid, although he is more focused on Microsoft's Blue Monsters at the moment). Copying an action is one thing, copying a "trademark" action is another, as it will always strike the consumer of the copycat that they are being manipulated in this second case, possibly making them re-evaluate the original.
Some of the pre-teen-friendly pop groups succeded by creating dance routines that the teeny-boppers could copy (e.g. Steps?). Many others followed, with greater or lesser success, but ultimately it becomes part of the marketing repertoire and therefore loses its power.
When it comes to alcoholic drinks, I assume that the target markets are probably aware of this and therefore that the "tail" of this copying action will be short, however I may well be proven wrong.
I don't know this, but I imagine that "Herd" memories are short and that is why we keep making the same mistakes, so I guess ice manufacturers are going to be in business a little while longer.