Product / ServiceFOOD
CategoryD04. Installation & Environment
Idea Creation ISOBAR CHINA GROUP Shanghai, CHINA


Name Company Position
Tim Doherty Isobar China group Chief Creative Officer

The Campaign

Young love is like ice cream. You have to act in the moment before it melts away. The goal was for Cornetto to be the innocent icebreaker to help young Chinese express their unexpressed emotions. The core creative idea was ‘Follow your heart, don’t wait’. The Cornetto product itself became the vehicle for emotional expression in the form of love confessions. To maintain relevance to the product and also generate talkability, the Cornetto love confessions ‘melted away’ if they were not read within 520 seconds (5 2 0 sounds the same as I Love You in mandarin Chinese).

Creative Execution

The campaign started with packaging. The “kissing Cornetto” packaging was scanned with a phone to launch the key mobile love confession interaction. People then selected their love confession from a range of Cornetto cone templates which they could send to that special someone. While the key campaign lived on mobile, it was backed up with digital OOH that animated the melting love confessions and Cornetto vending experiences in 59 locations across 12 cities that were triggered by image recognition. Teens could customize their Cornettos with love confessions that were printed out in real time . The vending component of the campaign was also supported with some kooky viral video content. General awareness was built through a series of fun, but somewhat less kooky 15 seconds films that ran in online TV environments as well as specially designed point of sale material.

Indication of how successful the outcome was in the market

Cornetto really opened the floodgates of unexpressed love in China. In the first month of the campaign alone a total of 1.47 billion people were reached by the Cornetto campaign. 11.7 million people took action and interacted with the campaign and 1.2 million people retweeted love confessions. In total the campaign delivered 1.9 million impressions. Most importantly the campaign delivered a 10.6% increase in volume sales year on year for Cornetto in China which was more than double the campaign KPI.

Cornetto’s audience is the post ’95 generation in China, who are more conservative than their Western counterparts when it comes to love and dating. They are spend little time with traditional media and are never more than a moment away from their smartphones. Every aspect of the campaign needed to be sociable in order to succeed and packaging was the first point of contact with specially designed ‘kissing Cornetto’ packs featuring Yixin Zhang and Jiamin Zhao, two young Chinese celebrities. Offline packaging and vending lead people to create and share mobile love confessions in social, while online video and social posts from Cornetto’s celebrities highlighted the Cornetto vending locations and special packaging. The campaign integrated packaging, social, mobile engagement, viral video, online TV and a multi-city sampling roadshow featuring specially designed Cornetto love confession vending machines.