Cannes Lions

Don't Hold Back: International Women's Day 2021 Campaign


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A 10-day turnaround period was provided to create an activation that amplified Häagen-Dazs’ new brand positioning: Don’t Hold Back, specifically for the period of time around International Women’s Day. The objective was to align the brand with the zeitgeist of social enlightenment in the UAE and the region via through traditional PR, supported by digital comms. The campaign is therefore targeted at a societal level, but with a retail pull-through.


Under the theme banner of ‘Women Who Don’t Hold Back’, we selected

4 female influencers who embodied the ‘Don’t Hold Back’ philosophy, from different backgrounds; these women embodied different characteristics such as determination, drive, passion, compassion, resilience and ‘limitless thinking’ that drove them to achieve their undisputable success and inspire many through their own journey. In a true ‘celebration’ of women, the brand also opened up the campaign to public encouraging them to nominate women who live by the same values and have achieved something remarkable. Not only did we renamed and repackaged six Häagen-Dazs signature flavours after these women and invited our female customers – when ordering – the ice creams were renamed to invoke key aspirational phrases pertinent to their achievements.


‘This is not about empowering women. This about empowering society by recognising women as equal partners.’

Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai

This statement alone is cause for celebration and it is as beholden to the commercial sector as it is to government to promote this enlightenment at all times at an accelerated rate.

‘Women Who Don’t Hold Back’ therefore had a wide demographic audience of age and gender.

In truth, Häagen-Dazs’ platform ‘Don’t Hold Back’ could effectively become a source of inspiration for women to rise to their potential, and everyone else to become advocates of self-fulfillment.

Amplifying this platform to ‘Women Who Don’t Hold Back’ was intended to spread either a ripple or a blastwave through Middle Eastern society, depending on each person’s stage of adopting the principle of gender quality.



- Announcement PRL in EN & AR + Interviews

- Timeline: March 4th - March 21st

- Local, Regional and Global Distribution and Monitoring


PR Results:

Through one ‘Press Release’ the campaign reached over a billion people globally and generated 235 media articles across seven countries, with a value of $3.1 million, from an investment in PR of USD 12,500.

A PR ROI ratio of 248:1 was generated.

We achieved an Influencer ROI ratio of 37:1. (Actual figures: $252,000 media value generated from $6772 invested + FOC influencer reviews)

Earned and paid social reach was 6.8 Million.

Commercial Results:

Häagen-Dazs recorded 27% increase in retail footfall, and a 40% increase

in retail sales – the highest ever in recent years - constituting a record month of March.

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