Cannes Lions



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There was just 1 place on Earth where Magnum Ice Cream was not number 1: the US. With America as the largest ice-cream market in the world, this launch was both an extreme opportunity and a challenge. Although the stick category was facing a 5 year decline, Unilever set a lofty goal of 3.5% trial and 30% repeat during launch year. When it came to launching in America, failure was not an option for the world’s largest ice cream brand. Our strategy: to sell pleasure, not ice cream. We partnered with global icon Karl Lagerfeld to direct 3 short films starring Rachel Bilson. The films debuted during the Tribeca Film Festival, and through online exclusives. Fashionistas flocked to style community Polyvore, to reimagine the Magnum lifestyle. Media influencers devoured Magnum’s news - literally - via a press kit made entirely of chocolate.

The integrated campaign — driven by PR — generated 2bn impressions, but more importantly $74m in retail sales, growing what was once a declining category by 63%. We exceeded expectations with 5% trial and 32% repeat. And, at one point, Magnum became the number 1 super-premium stick brand, outselling both Haagen-Dazs and Dove bars combined.


The Wall Street Journal and Women’s Wear Daily simultaneously broke the news of Magnum’s US debut and its partnership with Lagerfeld and Bilson. The exclusive access continued with behind-the-scenes interviews with Bilson with top lifestyle media. Film trailers were leaked in the following weeks, and anticipation grew.The original film series debuted at an A-list red-carpet premiere event during the Tribeca Film Festival. Flash bulbs popped and Twitter was a-buzz as more than 50 media covered the arrival of fashion icons such as Anna Wintour. A series of staggered online exclusives with Facebook and shared the films with fans nationwide.

Our target engaged in droves. Fashionistas flocked to a contest with style community Polyvore, drawing more than 3,100 entries and 845,000 engagements. Our communities on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter grew exponentially. And media devoured Magnum’s news - literally -because our press kit was made entirely of rich, edible chocolate.


Magnum landed in the US with greater demand than ever imagined and to keep pace, Unilever had to import 30% of stock through the end of 2011. Trial rates were 42% higher than the 5% goal, with a 32.1% repeat. Finally, Magnum became the number one super premium stick brand in the US within 4 weeks of the launch, selling $74m, growing the category by 63% and owning 34% of it.We generated 2bn media impressions for Magnum with 78% of coverage featuring the majority of program messages.We ignited a conversation with core consumers by launching on Facebook, Twitter and Tumblr. We achieved more than 157,000 Facebook 'likes' and Magnum’s Twitter feed became the largest of all Unilever US food brands with 33,000 followers.And, in October 2011, Vogue called Magnum, asking for product, not for a food story, but for an upcoming photo shoot, to use as a fashion accessory.

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