This summer, Isobar is helping ice-cream brand Cornetto make waves in Chine by creating a series of interactive digital media experiences. Centred on the theme: “Follow your heart, don’t wait,” the initiative is mobile-first driven, and invited popular Chinese youth idols to ignite a passion for love amongst Chinese teenagers. From the lovingly-designed packaging to an ice-cream vending machine tour, Isobar and Cornetto are setting off a frenzy of love confessions! Over the last five years, digital media has taken Chinese millennials by storm, with mobile usage easily overtaking desktop usage. Mobile is now at the centre of every teen’s universe, but Isobar also found in their research that the young Chinese of today are less experienced when it comes to love than their Western counterparts. They crave love, but they are scared to make the first move. Meanwhile, the young people who actively pursue love are seeking a creative and novel way to express their feelings.
“Cornetto is a brand that teens in China love and the campaign is constructed around the way that they use technology”
The eventual insight was that, for the young generation of China, love is just like an ice cream; if you wait for too long, it will melt away. Therefore, Isobar has cleverly combined the fleeting sweetness of love with Cornetto. With this core concept, Isobar teamed up with Cornetto to introduce this new digital marketing campaign, which transforms the beloved ice-cream brand into a secret weapon of love this summer amongst the Generation Z or post-millennials.
Isobar has created a series of melting digital love letters, utilising a QR code on the Cornetto packaging to help love-struck teens express their feelings. With the help of the mobile interactive site, consumers can select colourful confession templates, create unique love confessions of their own, and send the love letters via WeChat or QQ to their loved ones. Then the receiver will only have 520 seconds to read the confession before it melts away. In addition to preset templates, special editions love letters can also be unlocked on special occasions like the Dragon Boat Festival, to keep the campaign at fever pitch all summer long.
In an effort to bring the online campaign offline, Isobar and Cornetto also introduced the first-ever love confession ice-cream vending machine in China at multiple dating hotspots across major cities including Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou. Consumers can simply take a photo using the vending machine’s camera, input their loving message, and a customised DIY packaging sticker gets printed, transforming their Cornetto ice-cream into an exclusive, tasty love letter. Cornetto selected Savoki (Zhao Jiamin) of the idol group SNH48 and Lay (Zhang Yixing), two of the most popular young celebrities in China, to help create awareness for the campaign. The two spokespersons appear on packaging and are being tasked with generating social media buzz for the campaign. In addition, two confession videos featuring both celebrities were also launched on the QQ social platform, garnering massive attention from the target audience. By scanning the QR code on Cornetto packaging, consumers can also get a free emoticon pack featuring the two spokespersons in the QQ emoticon store, or get access to interactive games.
“Through interactive experiences that are close to the heart and lifestyle of our young generation, the campaign has made Cornetto a secret weapon of love”
Rohan Lightfoot, Managing Director of Isobar Shanghai, said: “We're thrilled to be working with Cornetto as the brand begins to really embrace what technology can do in a Brand Commerce world. The digital product engagement that we created is right at the heart of a campaign and everything has been designed to be mobile centric. Cornetto is a brand that teens in China love and the campaign is constructed around the way that they use technology. Even at this early stage results look hugely positive.” Benny Xu, Senior Brand Building Director of Ice Cream at Unilever China, added: “As a well-known ice cream brand of Unilever, Cornetto attracts younger consumers with its creamy flavour and crispy cones. We launched this massive mobile marketing campaign in China this year for the first time in the hopes of creating greater connection and communication with consumers. Through interactive experiences that are close to the heart and lifestyle of our young generation, ‘Follow your heart, don’t wait’ has made Cornetto a ‘secret weapon of love’ closely linking the product attributes, and promoting a series of love-filled confession initiatives.”
Since the campaign’s launch back in May, sales for the brand have already increased by 10.6% compared to the previous month. Meanwhile, the campaign has triggered lots of discussions on social media, with campaign impressions totalling over 340 million, and re-posts of over 1.2 million, thanks to postings made by the two celebrity spokespersons. This summer, Cornetto has become “The way to woo,” delivering a brand experience full of sweetness, to China’s young consumers.