Unilever China Walls Cornetto: Cornetto — Express Love in Eight Seconds

Campaign Summary

Walls Cornetto, the leading ice cream brand in China, maintained its top positioning by tapping into the power of popular social networking sites and mobile apps to connect with its young adult consumers. To help this audience express their feelings of love, Cornetto created online films starring top Chinese celebrities in a love triangle story. The films integrated with Vine, and a video app let users create and share their own videos with friends.


Objective and Context:

With 50 percent market penetration and 80 percent brand awareness, Walls Cornetto wanted to maintain its position as China’s ice cream market leader. Its goals were to build brand appeal, preference, and purchase frequency.

Ice cream is a highly competitive category, with Cornetto battling with competitors Yili, Meng Niu, and Nestlé for the attention of China’s post-1990s generation. But the target’s attention is dedicated to their mobile devices. The challenge was to reach and engage these young adults through their mobile phones in order to get “a bite” of their attention.

Target Audience:

The ’90s generation of 15- to 25-year-olds feels academic, family, and societal pressures, which make it hard for them to explore young love and express their true feelings.

This group is also China’s first truly mobile generation, with over 85 percent owning a smartphone and consuming up to 72 minutes of online content on their phones daily. Love is complicated for the ’90s generation, and they often stumble when it comes to expressing love. Celebrities, video dramas, and their social apps are their key sources of inspiration and expression.

Creative Strategy:

The struggles of young love combined with the target’s embrace of mobile presented fresh opportunities for Cornetto to build on its “Dive into Love” online content platform. The brand extended the reach of its 2014 campaign and engaged teens using mobile-branded assets that inspired them to express their love through social media channels.

Cornetto created three online films starring top Chinese celebrities Kai Ko, Bolin Chen, and Ariel Lin in a love triangle story inspired by the idea, “If you had only eight seconds left before the end of the world, how would you express your love?” The films integrated with the video app functionality of Vine and leading networking site Tencent Weishi, which allowed users to create and share eight-second videos with friends. The eight-second video app was a perfect fit for this audience’s shorter attention spans and mobile devices, and it was also a first-of-its-kind activation for a brand within China.


Overall Campaign Execution:

This is the fourth year of the campaign series “Dive into Love.” In 2011, the campaign started as an online and micro-movie drama series. By 2013, mobile video as a reach multiplier was added. And by 2014, with the explosion in mobile usage for social sharing, self-expression, and communication, Cornetto went beyond simply inspiring its audience to enabling them to express love — in eight seconds, to be exact.

Mobile Execution:

With the goal of reaching consumers and creating a large impact, Cornetto partnered with Tencent Weishi, China’s largest social media platform, to increase presence on PC and mobile. The cross-media, cross-mobile integration, which included display, hero app screen blocks, drama films, pre-rolls, and in-store activities, combined to generate phenomenal success.

Results (including context, evaluation, and market impact)

The campaign was designed to inspire Chinese teens to be brave and express their love on May 20, China’s Love Day.

Cornetto extended the love theme from celebrity-driven online activities into user-generated mobile video creation. Cornetto created 26 Weishi video invitations from the film’s cast which encouraged teens to create their own expression of love. This led to over 70,000 consumer-generated love proclamations being viewed more than nine million times on Cornetto’s Weishi page.

The audience also downloaded additional branded assets, including watermarks, music, and heart designs, to add to their eight-second films and share with their social circles. With over 6.5 million branded assets downloaded, Cornetto extended its reach to millions of teens through earned/shared content.

Mobile extended the reach of the drama series content by generating 70 million of the 220 million video views.

The end result of all of this love?

  • Sales up 5 percent vs. the same period in 2013
  • Unaided awareness increased 10 percent
  • Big shifts in key brand attributes:
      • “Delicious from first bite to last bite” increased 20 percent
      • “Brand that appeals to teenagers” increased 5 percent
      • “Brand that helps me express love” increased 10 percent

The mobile-led, cross-media, interactive campaign saw Cornetto maintain its position in China as the leading ice cream brand and expert on young love.

Categories: | Industries: Consumer Packaged Goods | Objectives: Brand Awareness, Cross-Screen Advertising, Video/Rich Media | Awards: Bronze Winner

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