Cannes Lions

Secret Sofa by Häagen Dazs

GENERAL MILLS UK, London / HAAGEN DAZS / 2020

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Overview

Background

Häagen-Dazs believe that little luxuries uplift the everyday and their brand mission is to bring moments of joy and real connection over an ice cream. During the sudden uncertainty of the COVID-19 lockdowns across the world, Häagen-Dazs reframed this mission with a simple message: to stay safe, stay home, and keep sharing little moments of joy called #HaagIndoors.

In the UK, plans centred around physical experiences to drive awareness and trial to trigger purchase intent. But in these changed circumstances Häagen-Dazs needed to create new and creative ways for people to connect with each other and drive salience.

A partnership was in place with Secret Cinema, the iconic immersive cinema business, so brand and partner pivoted in 3 weeks to produce something new which would engage audiences hungry for something beyond a new world of zoom quizzes. And, importantly, to get ice cream into people’s homes through e-commerce and entertainment.

Idea

Secret Sofa by Häagen-Dazs brought communities of film lovers together every Friday evening for eight weeks with an experience centred around in-home screenings of Secret Cinema’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed films.

From a Parisian boudoir to a luxury suite, or a top-secret HQ for MI6, homes across UK transformed into outposts of alternative universes as their inhabitants took part in immersive experiences together, from the comfort of their own sofas.

With social channels drawing participants into movie-inspired stories and content each week, fans united over thematic activities, interactive character narratives, ice cream pairings via Amazon and surprise live performances, All culminating in a Facebook Live pre-event and shared film screening.

Brand collaborations brought continual inspiration, new news and fuelled content from partners, participants and influencers each week. These included Sipsmith Gin (paired with Salted Caramel for a ‘Casino Royale’ cocktail) and ‘Romeo+ Juliet’ Rival House Gelato and Champagne duos.

Strategy

Häagen-Dazs believe their consumers want to squeeze the most of out life. To seize the opportunities that life throw at them and seek out authentic experiences over products.

Film is high on this audience’s passion points and Secret Cinema was a perfect platform. They have a track record of creating immersive real-life 360º experiences around film, encouraging the audience to participate in the storytelling itself.

A planned partnership with a series of live events to drive awareness and trial was made impossible by the UK national lockdown, so a pivot was required to move to a ‘virtual ( and immersive) experience’. ‘Secret sofa’ was born, and our strategy sought to mobilise existing communities online; people who had already attended Secret Cinema outdoor events, and influencers to drive participation at a time when audiences were looking online to replace physical interactions. We drove conversion through an e-comm partnership with Amazon Prime.

Execution

8 weeks from April - June 2020

Participants were encouraged to conjure Secret Worlds in their living rooms, share content and join the film stories each week.

It began with an email introducing the film and how to join. Pre-screening narratives encouraged the audience to dress up as characters, learn dances, make props and join playlists. After-parties and interactive performances streamed live via Zoom and Facebook built the sense of community between like-minded film fans every week.

24 nano and micro-influencers came together to produce creator-led content around each film using Instagram and TikTok to build excitement and provide direct swipe up links to ice cream discounts on Amazon.

100,000 people engaged with the content and experiences, with the creativity of participants celebrated and shared every Friday, building engagement.

Collaborations kept things fresh including Sipsmith Gin for ‘Casino Royale’, and iconic 80’s “Floatbuster” with Jack Daniel’s for ‘Ghostbusters’.

Outcome

Week-on-week sales grew +97% on Amazon during the campaign.

Highest brand consideration in 2 years, with YouGov social buzz score increasing by 400%.

Purchase intent doubled as a result of the activity.

ROI - PR & Sponsorship Value: 13:1 and sales (E-Commerce & Influencer investment): 7:1

Facebook highlighted the campaign as a best-in-class - 115,000 reactions

Influencer content drove almost 3x more engagement than the industry average.

3 million content views, generated over 450,000 actions including over 60,000 via Instagram Stories, and engagement rates of 18.9% and 4.15% on TikTok and Instagram respectively.

Over 13,000 members shared user-generated content of their film, costume and ice cream experiences, with 84k mentions of #secretsofa and #haagindoors, 3,124 pieces of User Generated Content, over 100k engagements and 12k views.

1.2billion impressions in earned media coverage.

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