Magnum Promo, Case study SELLING PLEASURE, NOT ICE CREAM by Golin Harris

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Industry Ice cream & Cold desserts
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market United States
Agency Golin Harris
Released March 2011

Credits & Description

Category: Best Launch or Re-launch
Product/Service: MAGNUM ICE CREAM
Senior Brand Building Manager: Mike Hurley (Unilever)
Director Of Marketing Communications: Christine Cea (Unilever)
Former Associate Brand Building Manager: Sam Spencer (Unilever)
Marketing Communications Manager/Foods: Casey Depalma (Unilever)
Executive Director: Carrie Von Der Sitt (Golinharris)
Executive Director: Kimberly Bernhardt (Golinharris)
Media Director: Dan Mazei (Golinharris)
Media Director: Lindsey Auslander (Golinharris)
Director: Vanessa Mason (Golinharris)
Senior Manager: Melinda Wilshire (Golinharris)
Senior Media Manager: Jennifer Davis (Golinharris)
Senior Digital Manager: Josh Rangel (Golinharris)
Digital Manager: Jen Forrest (Golinharris)
Media Manager: Zach Crantz (Golinharris)
Media Associate: Alyssa Bronikowski (Golinharris)
Digital Associate: Adryan Dillon (Golinharris)
Associate: Kim Stroz (Golinharris)
Manager: Stephanie Bottoms (Golinharris)
Media placement: Press Mailing – Edible Chocolate Press Kit - - 14-25 March 2011
Media placement: Traditional Media Relations – MAGNUM And Lagerfeld Partnership Announcement Exclusives - The Wall Street Journal, Women’s Wear Daily - 18 March 2011
Media placement: Traditional Media Relations – Behind-The-Scenes Exclusive Interviews -, InStyle, And - 21 March 2011
Media placement: Traditional Media Relations – Interviews With Lagerfeld And Bilson - The New York Times, W Magazine,, InStyle - 20-21 April 2011
Media placement: Traditional Media Relations And Product Launch Event – Film Premiere And MAGNUM U.S. Launch Event - Harper’s Bazaar, Associated Press - 21 April-30 May 2011
Media placement: Sponsorship – The Tribeca Film Festival - USA Today, Us Weekly - 20-31 April 2011
Media placement: Online Film Series Exclusives - Facebook,, Just Jared - 21 April - 9 May 2011
Media placement: Digital Media – Launch Of Polyvore Contest - Polyvore, Style Bistro, Running With Heels - 25 March-21 April 2011
Media placement: Digital Media Partnership – Foodbuzz Blogger Ambassador Campaign - Yahoo! Shine - 25 April-30 June 2011
Media placement: Digital Media – Behind-The-Scenes Blogger Relations - Yahoo! OMG, Coco Perez, PopSugar, Just Jared - 4-20 April 2011

Summary of the Campaign
There was just 1 place on Earth where Magnum Ice Cream was not number 1: the US. With America as the largest ice-cream market in the world, this launch was both an extreme opportunity and a challenge.
Although the stick category was facing a 5 year decline, Unilever set a lofty goal of 3.5% trial and 30% repeat during launch year. When it came to launching in America, failure was not an option for the world’s largest ice cream brand. Our strategy: to sell pleasure, not ice cream.
We partnered with global icon Karl Lagerfeld to direct 3 short films starring Rachel Bilson. The films debuted during the Tribeca Film Festival, and through online exclusives. Fashionistas flocked to style community Polyvore, to reimagine the Magnum lifestyle. Media influencers devoured Magnum’s news - literally - via a press kit made entirely of chocolate.

The integrated campaign — driven by PR — generated 2bn impressions, but more importantly $74m in retail sales, growing what was once a declining category by 63%. We exceeded expectations with 5% trial and 32% repeat. And, at one point, Magnum became the number 1 super-premium stick brand, outselling both Haagen-Dazs and Dove bars combined.

The Situation
To succeed, we needed to understand and infiltrate our target. Our target was a pleasure-seeker, trendy, socially-savvy, someone who won’t settle for second-best. She craves luxury, status and pampers herself with daily pleasures. It was imperative to position Magnum as not just an ice cream, but an aspirational symbol of an indulgent lifestyle.

As an unknown brand in the US, we quickly define the brand by associating it with other symbols of luxury. We had to catapult Magnum from the freezer to the front row of the hottest venues, with the most recognizable talent, captured by the media she passionately consumes.

The Goal
We were tasked to sell loads of ice cream. To do that, we ultimately had to sell a lifestyle: the Magnum lifestyle. Our goal was to turn this super-premium ice-cream brand into one of the most coveted fashion accessories of the year.

Ultimately, we needed to:
- Create national brand awareness around the launch (metric: 200m media impressions);
- Engage core consumers through branded social media channels (metric: 50,000 'likes' on Facebook);
- Get women aged 25-34 to trade up and try Magnum by convincing them it’s the icon of premium adult chocolate indulgent pleasure (metric: Achieve 3.5% trial, 30% repeat).

The Strategy
Instead of asking, “How would you launch an ice cream?” we asked ourselves, “How would you launch a new fashion label, a perfume, a lipstick?”

We helped to architect an ambitious, holistic campaign to engage 'pleasure-seekers'. The core of our strategy was to borrow equity from a high-profile designer to create engaging content and target our consumer through 3 of her key passions: celebrity, fashion and film.

We partnered with fashion icon, Karl Lagerfeld, to direct 3 Magnum-inspired films, starring style starlet, Rachel Bilson. The short films featured highly glamorized interpretations of the Magnum lifestyle told through the perspective of 3 characters: a prima ballerina, a fashion model and an art student.

Bilson served as the link in this PR-driven, integrated campaign. Not only did she star in the film series and conduct media interviews, but she was integral in our digital partnership and lead in Magnum Ice Cream advertising.

The Wall Street Journal and Women’s Wear Daily simultaneously broke the news of Magnum’s US debut and its partnership with Lagerfeld and Bilson. The exclusive access continued with behind-the-scenes interviews with Bilson with top lifestyle media. Film trailers were leaked in the following weeks, and anticipation grew.

The original film series debuted at an A-list red-carpet premiere event during the Tribeca Film Festival. Flash bulbs popped and Twitter was a-buzz as more than 50 media covered the arrival of fashion icons such as Anna Wintour. A series of staggered online exclusives with Facebook and shared the films with fans nationwide.

Our target engaged in droves. Fashionistas flocked to a contest with style community Polyvore, drawing more than 3,100 entries and 845,000 engagements. Our communities on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter grew exponentially. And media devoured Magnum’s news - literally -because our press kit was made entirely of rich, edible chocolate.

Documented Results
Magnum landed in the US with greater demand than ever imagined and to keep pace, Unilever had to import 30% of stock through the end of 2011. Trial rates were 42% higher than the 5% goal, with a 32.1% repeat. Finally, Magnum became the number one super premium stick brand in the US within 4 weeks of the launch, selling $74m, growing the category by 63% and owning 34% of it.

We generated 2bn media impressions for Magnum with 78% of coverage featuring the majority of program messages.

We ignited a conversation with core consumers by launching on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We achieved more than 157,000 Facebook 'likes' and Magnum’s Twitter feed became the largest of all Unilever US food brands with 33,000 followers.

And, in October 2011, Vogue called Magnum, asking for product, not for a food story, but for an upcoming photo shoot, to use as a fashion accessory.