Magnum Ice Cream Promotes Pleasure

By Sohini Sen , afaqs!, Mumbai | In Digital | October 29, 2014
The premium ice cream brand has launched teaser videos, marking a shift from 'royalty' to 'pleasure'.

How can a simple and mundane task, like taking a selfie, be challenging for anyone? And yet, Kareena Kapoor in the latest Magnum digital campaign is so lost in the taste of the ice-cream she is eating that all her selfies turn out to be quite unpleasant. The latest campaign - #LostInPleasure - from the premium ice-cream brand reflects on the taste that makes one forget everything else around.

The Magnum Teaser featuring Kareena Kapoor

The second teaser from Magnum

The Magnum in-cinemas campaign

Magnum Pleasure Test

The Magnum BTL campaign

"Magnum is a brand with 'personal pleasure' at its core, and encourages its target audience to actively seek pleasure in their lives," explains a spokesperson for Magnum. Two of the Lost in Pleasure teasers are out at the moment. The first shows Kapoor in her van having a Magnum and trying to get a perfect selfie. The second video picks up from where the first leaves - when Kapoor enters the shoot. However, a spot boy hands her another Magnum and once again she forgets all about work and tries to get herself and the ice-cream stick in the same frame for her selfie. A third teaser is on its way. It will be followed by the main ad film but only on the digital platform.

Royal shift

Roopak Saluja

Russell Barrett

"This may be a digital campaign but the scale was no less than that of a full-blown TVC. It took us four days to build a 6,000 sq ft set and, to give it a full-blown Broadway look, we used over 750 bulbs. We shot over two days with a day for lighting. As if shooting three teasers and one main film wasn't challenging enough, we only had 12 hours to get everything done with Kareena," explains Roopak Saluja - founder & CEO, The 120 Media Collective, the content creation company behind the videos.

However, what makes it stand out is that since its launch in India, and even internationally, Magnum has been known for its 'royalty' proposition. During the launch, the in-cinema advertising showed a lady biting into a Magnum stick. As soon as she does this, her environment changes, to be filled with people dressed as royalty. The lady herself gets the royal treatment as she continues to relish her Magnum.

The same royal treatment was given to unsuspecting shoppers in India. In malls, whenever someone picked up a Magnum bar, a butler would arrive to push his cart, the cashier would be dressed in British regal outfit and the customer herself would be escorted out of the mall with a marching band. Another Magnum 'prank' showed a shopper's hatchback being replaced by a luxury car - just to bring in the flavour of royalty.

"Magnum's 'Pleasure' peg is an overall idea. It is under this umbrella thought that we had brought out 'Enjoy the royal treatment' and now in phase two 'Lost in pleasure'. We wanted to create intrigue through the teasers and will build it up with time," adds Russell Barrett, managing partner & chief creative officer, BBH India.

Irresistible? Or Irritating?

R Sridhar

Prathap Suthan

R Sridhar, innovation coach and partner, IDEAS-RS, feels that the communication lacks a universal appeal. "The activation ideas were interesting because the customers all took it in a nice way; no one was irritated that their shopping was halted. However, the digital videos featuring Kareena feel like a highly exaggerated way of enjoying the brand. It is self-indulgent to a level."

Magnum subtly introduced the conversation on 'pleasure' a few months back through BTL activities. It asked women what the most pleasurable thing for them is. The replies ranged from spa dates to shopping without worrying. The brand then asked the same respondents to take a bite of Magnum and resist it for 10 minutes. If they succeeded, the brand would sponsor a shopping trip or a day at the spa for them.

Prathap Suthan from Bang in the Middle felt that while the idea of being lost in pleasure was okay, the incorporation of the selfie was a forced thing. "Magnum has done some fantastic work across the globe. The Magnum pleasure hunt or the TVC designed by Bruno Aveillan had set a benchmark. From whatever I saw in the teasers, it is below par. The quality of communication, along with the use of a celebrity like Kareena has made it more mass than premium."

The person handling Magnum at Hindustan Unilever is Abhijit Kulkarni, who also looks after Kwality Walls, Paddle Pop and Cornetto. But Magnum will have to carve its own niche. The brand is priced at a premium - with a stick available for Rs 85. However, while brands like Häagen Dazs and Movenpick offer customers an experience with their boutique or café-like seating arrangements, London Dairy and Magnum can be brought over the counter in grocery stores, malls and supermarkets. Will it be enough to talk to digital consumers then, about the pleasure and taste while ignoring the walk-in customers that other brands enjoy? It looks like the work is cut out for the brand, even before it has found a sure footing in the country.

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