Spikes Asia

To Share or Not to Share

LOTTE AD. CO., Tokyo / LOTTE CO. / 2019

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The ice cream industry is in a never-ending race to invent the next great flavor in hopes of making headlines and staying relevant in the eyes of consumers. As a result, sales of long-running products like Yukimi Daifuku—a pack of two vanilla ice cream balls wrapped in a starchy layer—have stalled. We needed to find a way to revitalize interest in Yukimi Daifuku.


Among ice cream products sold in Japan, Yukimi Daifuku is unusual in that each pack contains two servings. we decided to ground the campaign in an ethical issue: if you have Yukimi Daifuku, do you keep them for yourself or share one with a friend? Through the use of celebrities, we encouraged people around the country to use the hashtags #sharer and #hoarder to show which side of the debate they were on.


We discovered that an online debate was brewing over whether Yukimi Daifuku was a snack that ought to be shared or not. As there are only two in a pack, sharing involves giving away half—no small decision. Most people taking part in this debate seemed to be firmly against sharing, which got us wondering: Did all our customers feel this way? We decided that nationalizing this debate could not only provide us with valuable insight into our customers, but also help revitalize interest in the product—as well as increase sales.


We kicked things off by asking a popular comic duo, well known for disagreeing over everything, to start a Twitter feud over Yukimi Daifuku. We had them identify which camp they were in by using one of two hashtags—#sharer and #hoarder. We then asked popular YouTubers, animated influencers, and other social media stars to join the debate. We also set up a website to count the number of times that each hashtag was being used so we could display a running tally in real time. At one point, when it looked like sharers were enjoying a huge edge over hoarders, we brought back the comedy duo to spice things up by enacting a pro-hoarder skit. In this way, we maintained interest in the debate throughout the campaign.


Spurred by the comic duo, 120,000 Twitter users joined the debate. Thanks to a 325% increase in tweets discussing Yukimi Daifuku, the product started trending on Twitter. Other food makers staked out their own positions. We also enjoyed over US$4.8 million in earned media from over 780 outlets. Sales dramatically improved, increasing 24%. As for the debate? To our happy surprise, sharers beat the hoarders, 70%-30%, helping to establish a new brand image of Yukimi Daifuku as an ice cream product that brings joy whether eaten alone or with a friend. We decided to announce a new brand vision—The Sharers’ Revolution—that promoted a more sharing approach to snack eating.

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