Unilever – Talking Ice Cream 2019 – Case Study 2020

Shortlisted 2020

Media & Entertainment

Brand

Walls

Entered by:

OMD EMEA

Credits:

Blis

Unilever - Talking Ice Cream 2019

The Challenge

Every summer Walls faces fierce competition in securing every day snackers in buying Wall’s ice-cream over opposing brands at snacking moments , due to a highly saturated Ice-cream market. The market is crowded with private labels & like for like brands who are all competing for Ice-cream consumers’ minds and decisions at the same time due to being a seasonality driven product.

The Wall’s Talking Ice Cream campaign has been an annual recurrence for Unilever since 2017, with all aspects of the campaign evolving from one year to the next; due to the success of the campaign, the budget & number of markets increases each year (2018 8 Vs 2019 15 markets).

2019 was no different – with the main objective being, to become the favourite accessible hunger -filling/refreshing on -the-go snack across all selected 15 European Markets, ultimately ending with driving all potential consumers to on-the-go to Walls points of sale . Our challenge was to find a way to drive and identify footfall to prove positive ROI in a highly fragmented market that converts offline, while increasing unaided brand recall, market share & penetration – all whilst considering the highly fractured nature of cross European media landscapes highly varied levels of media sophistication.

The Creative Solution

Due to the challenges of the campaign and the scale/impact required . We had to think carefully when selecting a media partner to work with. We selected, geo­ location partner Blis – as they enabled us to have scale across all 15 markets, however control the budget and optimisations centrally.

As part of our partnership with Blis for Talking Ice Cream. Blis re-purposed all of our pre-existing out of assets – creating bespoke creatives per market which included, an dynamic store locator feature which would show our audiences live locations to the nearest Walls ice-cream cabinets. Because we provided Blis with our top POS locations across the 15 markets. Blis was able to use real-world intelligence to send contextually relevant messages to our audiences, when they were in distance of a selected POS and in a purchase ready moment i.e. sunny weather & midday vs. early morning.

The Media/Content Amplification Solution

The challenge faced by this campaign was to ensure that the media plan was locally strategic & relevant, whilst ensuring it remained connected in order to allow cross market learnings to be shared as the campaign evolved . This challenge was amplified by the media opportunities available in each market , which varied significantly from market to market, and required local expertise to provide robust planning for each market, with Global co-creation in order to ensure consistency of thinking between markets.

One of the key aspects behind the 2019 strategy was to ensure that all media choices were contextually, relevant and engaging for each market’s audience. This meant that each of the markets had a bespoke channel plan, and meant the campaign ran across 12 channels activated locally (Radio, Display, DooH, Facebook, lnstagram, Podcasts, SMS, Snap, Spotify, Twitter, Waze & YouTube) and 1 Channel activated centrally in each market: Blis. This allowed locally activated media to build saliency, with Blis being utilised to drive footfall to points of sale through integrating a geo-locator within the asset, using the audiences live location to show the nearest Walls ice-cream cabinets.

The final layer to the campaign was to ensure we maximised media spend by activating during peak Ice-cream snacking moments . Ice cream consumption is at it’s highest Fri-Sun 12pm-6pm, with a direct correlation between temperature and consumption . This lead to a Fri-Sun campaign which was heat triggered, with each market having it’s own temperature threshold based on local consumer behaviour (eg 15 degrees is a heatwave in Ireland, whereas in Spain Ice-cream sales don’t increase significantly until 28 degrees), targeting families and adults who were on the go and in close proximity of a Wall’s Point of Sale location. Due to the unpredictability of a campaign being weather driven in 15 markets, budget fluidity was required between markets as well as channels to ensure we capitalised on local heatwaves, whilst also dealing with limited availability of media (DooH) due to late activation confirmation based on forecast weather.

The Result

Talking Ice Cream can be identified as successful based on our two primary objectives; driving consumers to POS and increasing unaided brand recall .

We were able to crack the challenge of online impressions converting offline in small retailers through our media partner Blis. It was demonstrated that the campaign drove a 20% cross-market uplift in footfall, post Blis ad-exposure into store, through using mobile phone ad request longitude & latitude data to track user locations post ad request for those exposed & an unexposed control audience . The average footfall uplift across markets for the ice-cream category is expected between 7-12% based on previous Blis campaigns.

Alongside our Blis activity, On-Device conducted Brand Study research (DE, UK, FR & IT). The study consisted of a sample size of 400 – and allowed for bespoke brand questions to be served to both control and exposed groups. The aim of the study was to measure brand awareness, ad-recall , consideration, purchase intent, creative performance . We succeeded with increased purchase intent across the board{+3%), increased spontaneous awareness in every market +10% (in particular UK +17% uplift and DE +12 %.)

In line with the key objective, TIC also increased consumers perception +10% uplift “Walls ice cream is refreshing in hot weather” and best portfolio range perception vs. competitors +18%.

Most importantly, we are able to see positive sales & share results from the UK. Blis store-locator asset led consumers exclusively to Tesco express stores nationally . On the Bank Holiday weekend, Wall’s Impulse single sales were up+ 75%. With Feast & Calippo experiencing the highest uplift and being the only two products featuring in the UK creative.

Lastly, possible Halo effect on in-home Wall’s multipacks experienced share gain for the first time with +412BPS Vs YTD -120BPS.

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