Cannes Lions

Duolingo Roll


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Language learning is hard, it’s why Duolingo, the world’s #1 language-learning app, is designed to keep you motivated by being fun and help you achieve your language goals. We take language learning seriously, but not ourselves – and we always use Aprils Fools as an opportunity to create buzzworthy and playful pranks. This year, however, it wasn’t just a joke. With the widespread insight that people always complain about not having the time to learn a language, we designed an innovative language-learning tool to help people turn down time into learning time.


There were hundreds of Duolingo learners on Twitter talking about the fact that they like to get in their daily lessons while visiting the loo. As a response to this interesting yet not very hygienic behaviour, we created Duolingo Roll - the world’s 1st toilet paper-based language-learning tool, thoughtfully developed for those with no time to learn.

Duolingo Roll is a hygienic, 100% screen-free design, made with 3-ply softness – because language learning is hard enough. All rolls feature some of the most iconic phrases from the app, and use repetition as a tool for learning that helps create a daily habit that will be hard to skip. This product’s exclusive run was available for English speakers learning Spanish, and Spanish, Japanese, Chinese and Portuguese speakers learning English.


Studies have shown that people spend an average of 14 minutes a day sitting on the toilet. Yet, it only takes 5 minutes a day to learn a new language with Duolingo. Keeping people’s busy lives in mind, we wanted to take this opportunity and turn their downtime into learning time.

Fun is what sets Duolingo apart from other language-learning apps, so developing a playful new product to help our learners utilize their downtime in the loo was a natural extension of our multi-platform offering. This product innovation showcases how learning with Duolingo is fun and motivates you so you can learn more and go further in your language learning journey.

Duolingo also has a very engaged online fanbase. Apart from developing this new product innovation, an integrated social media roll-out was created to reach every touchpoint.


We translated Duolingo’s graphic design world and app UI to a Roll format, and selected the most iconic phrases in the app to ensure we catch people’s attention while keeping it educational. We pre-seeded the Rolls to influencers and press across our 6 top priority markets.

? On March 29th, we teased audiences by creating a poll asking if people use our app in the loo (the positive response wasn’t a surprise).

? On April 1st, we launched Duolingo Roll online and rolled it out in our social media channels along with 30+ influencer-created content, all of it redirected to a custom-built microsite.

? We also partnered with WeWork China and distributed our Rolls across 18 of their offices.

? A day after our launch, we announced a giveaway of these limited-edition rolls to a lucky few in the US and UK via Twitter.


What started as a bit of fun, soon became an internet sensation: generating millions of earned media impressions; thousands of brand mentions, and an onslaught of requests for Rolls.

?+3.5% spike in new users in priority markets on day of launch

?18% week-on-week spike in spike in ES

?Brand’s top performing social post (with 370k engagements and 56k/day click rate)

?14.2M+ Facebook & Twitter impressions with 2%-3.8% engagement rate (on-par with Twitter benchmarks)

?30+ pieces of press coverage

?30+ influencer videos in UK, Mexico, Brazil, China

?Thousands of requests for the product (including a phone call to Duolingo office to purchase the product) and potential brand collabs

?In the first week of launch we received over 250k total site visits from 173 countries

?Duolingo Rolls were gone in minutes and thousands of learners begged for more

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