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Elena’s Helados on turning heartbreak into a multi-flavored ice cream

VMLY&R Commerce won the ‘Retail’ category at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Here, the team behind the winning entry reveal the secrets of this successful project...

The challenge

When the pandemic hit Mexico, Elena’s Helados had no choice but to close its stores. This put the brand in a tough situation as they don't have a retail presence and depended entirely on in-store sales. And with the big brands on every supermarket shelf, our brand needed a way to truly stand out.

For that reason, the brief sought for an innovative way of activating Elena’s digital and e-commerce channels and keeping customers engaged to keep the business moving.

The strategy

The Mexican people have a strong cultural relationship with passionate love stories, mainly because we grew up watching soap operas, AKA ‘telenovelas’; characterized by melodrama, sentimentality, and chaotic romances. This makes the Mexican audience connect very effectively with the tragic side of love.

People always turn to ice cream when going through a breakup. But ice cream has never done much to actually make this painful process a bit more bearable. Until now. We introduced a new product, the 1 liter Adios Amor Adios. The special edition ice cream pint features five delicious flavor profiles strategically layered to match the five emotional stages of a breakup – denial, anger, sadness, acceptance, hope. And to make the painful process a bit more bearable, codes were assigned to every layer driving a unique digital experience and prizes.

The campaign

The campaign had a duration of one month and was implemented across our digital, social and e-commerce channels on a county-wide scale.

A social campaign was implemented, to drive traffic to our website where people were able to both purchase and actively interact with the site as they progressed through the ice cream tub.

Through the landing page, we activated online sales covering nation-wide shipping. Also, code redemption was made available for customers to enter their codes. And of course, the site was also divided into the five emotional stages of greave to allocate meaningful content for each stage to keep people engaged during the whole journey. Making this a brand experience that lasted for weeks.

The results

The creation of this special edition transformed a regular ice cream tub into an amazing journey by adding consumer value to every stage, making people stay engaged during the entire process.

We incorporated a product innovation into the company's product portfolio that has become an asset that can be re-activated on special occasions like Valentine's Day (Amor y Amistad) and others.

It also managed to keep the company in business during a difficult time and boosted its e-commerce sales to the point of making them its current main income source. Key results included:

  • +230% website visits.

  • First lot was sold out in the first week.

  • +160% other ice cream flavor sales.

  • +420% social media mentions.

This project was a winner at The Drum Awards for the Digital Industries 2021. Find out which of The Drum Awards are currently open for entry.

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