Spikes Asia


DENTSU INC., Tokyo / LOTTE CO. / 2021

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For 40 years, Lotte had been trying to keep things fresh with their classic Yukimi Daifuku ice cream--two vanilla ice cream balls, each covered in a thin, chewy layer of mochi--by coming up with new flavors (over 50 at this point). But with interest in the product dropping and the company running out of ideas, there was an urgent need to come up with the next big idea--something that went beyond the company's existing communication framework and would really take the world by storm.


It turned out, this big idea was sitting right under our noses. By switching the "f" and "k" in Daifuku, you get Daikufu, which means "big idea" in Japanese. That made us wonder what other big Yukimi Daifuku ideas were hiding in plain sight. Inspired by this discovery, we established a side brand called Yukimi Daikufu dedicated to big Yukimi Daifuku ideas that we may have overlooked--but which the public might already know about.


We initially targeted general consumers. By offering simple examples--maybe a savory Yukimi Daifuku flavored with olive oil and salt? An even sweeter Yukimi Daifuku covered with whipped cream, bananas, and chocolate sauce?--we lowered the hurdle for potential ideas and made the new side brand feel approachable. When other food brands started submitting ideas as well, we developed a new strategy to target such brands and approached them for official tie-ups with their products.


We announced the new side brand with a launch video featuring the popular Yukimi Daifuku rabbit and postings on social media. Ideas submitted by consumers were presented on a dedicated website, with submissions searchable by a variety of criteria. Submissions on social media were given the hashtag #YukimiDaikufu to make them easy to find. When over 20 food and other brands agreed to create tie-up ideas, we set up a press conference to commemorate this historic alliance. Finally, we opened a Yukimi Daikufu Cafe where we served the three most popular ideas submitted by the public, further deepening the public's affinity for this new side brand. In this way, we created a self-sustaining ecosystem for generating new big ideas for the product that fully involved consumers around the country.


Over 1,400 individual consumers and over 20 food and other brands submitted ideas for this new side brand. As a result, mentions of Yukimi Daifuku on social media rose 105%. Yukimi Daikufu--the side brand--trended on Twitter twice. The side brand was covered by 443 media, providing us with over 300 million JPY in earned advertising. Finally, annual sales of Yukimi Daifuku broke through the 10 billion JPY barrier for the first time in the brand's 40-year history.

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