Cornetto connected with the local audience in Malaysia by identifying what Malaysian teenagers enjoyed: ghost stories. Since Cornetto’s global message was one of love, it merged its message with the audience’s interest and came up with a love story about ghost characters Po and Lang. The story aired in four webisodes that became popular with Malaysian youth. A mobile banner ad took the story further, sending “ghost calls” to the phones of people who clicked, and then sending them to the “Po and Lang” webisodes.
Objective and Context:
When Cornetto was losing market share to more generic local snacks in Malaysia, the brand wanted to win back its audience of teenagers. Cornetto ice cream is a brand centered on love, but teens in Malaysia had edgier tastes. To appeal to Malaysian teens, Cornetto decided to take advantage of their interest in ghost stories.
Target Audience: The target audience was teenagers in Malaysia. Ghost stories are highly popular among Malaysian adolescents. They grew up with ghost movies, fiction, and other ghost-related content. Recently, ghost movies had become an instant hit among the Malaysia youth. Cornetto also knew that the Internet was teenagers’ preferred medium, as they consumed and shared content constantly, especially on their mobile phones.
Cornetto had positioned its brand on a “love” platform, which was seen as cheesy by teens. The brand developed a creative strategy to maintain its message of love, but appeal to Malaysian teens’ fascination with scary stories: Cornetto combined the two messages to tell a love story between ghosts. This attention to the tastes of teenagers in Malaysia was intended to help the global brand form a local connection with the audience.
Overall Campaign Execution:
Cornetto created a series of four webisodes featuring two ghosts, Po and Lang, and a cast of other ghost characters. The webisodes told the love story of Po and Lang, and each video featured Cornetto. The videos were released on YouTube, Facebook, and Twitter, with targeting around the ghost story market to maximize views. Cornetto also connected with social influencers and optimized search to expand the reach of the campaign.
When mobile penetration among the target audience reached 51 percent and the campaign had generated 15 million impressions, Cornetto moved the campaign to the next level via mobile channels. The brand created a banner ad that created an impression of a ghost. When users clicked the banner ad, they received a call that looked like it was from one of the six ghost characters in the Cornetto stories. People who answered the haunting call were then taken to the Po and Lang webisodes.