Go for the Magnum Gold

Joy Angelica Subido, Joy Angelica Subido, Karla Alindahao (The Philippine Star) - February 13, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - There were gold-painted vaults with a giant “M” wheeled to various locations in Metro Manila, and curious onlookers wondered what it was all about. Consistent with the imaginative brand of marketing that it is known for, the latest ice cream product called Magnum Gold successfully stirred up the public’s curiosity even before its Feb. 9 launch in the Philippines.

 Apart from encouraging consumers to participate in an “adventure” that encouraged people to log into the Magnum website (www.magnum.com.ph) for a chance to win free samples of the new ice cream, there was an action-packed movie trailer directed by famous X-Men film director Bryan Singer. In the trailer for Magnum Gold, Hollywood actors Benicio del Toro and Caroline De Souza Correa break into a vault filled with gold bars. The catch: It isn’t the precious metal he wasn’t expecting. Instead, the treasure consists of stacks upon stacks of ice cream bars. “You knew about this?” Benicio disbelievingly asks his partner in a scene. And as Caroline takes a bite from her ice cream bar, he resignedly answers his own question, “Great, you knew about all of this.” The trailer ends with both of them driving off as they are chased by the authorities. Benicio gently chides his unremorseful partner, “You couldn’t wait for one more day.”

“You couldn’t wait for one more day” when one thinks about it, the statement is what successful marketing is all about. Creating hype and stimulating curiosity is a surefire way to encourage jaded or confused consumers to focus on a specific product so that they will remember and look it up when they venture to the stores. Of course, the product has to live up to expectations. For P55 for a single and P160 for a pack of three, the new item called Magnum Gold which is “silky vanilla bean ice cream swirled with sea salt caramel and covered in a golden coating made with Belgian milk chocolate,” is delicious and available to a large market price-wise. Since it was first launched in the Philippines two years ago, Magnum has consistently made a name for itself as the ice cream brand that successfully created hype while living up to the flavor and quality expectations of its market.

What I appreciate most about the latest Magnum Gold ice cream campaign however, is its playful and participative nature — humorous without insulting the consumers’ intelligence. As a food writer, I have made it a personal mission to eschew products that denigrate the mental faculties of the consumer with inane campaigns and unlike the stupid promotions that we are routinely subjected to, the Magnum Gold campaign is indicative of a keen understanding of the prevailing consumer culture and respect for their target market — the two-way relationship between brands and consumers.

 By engaging the participation of consumers in the well-thought-out promotional campaign (as opposed to dishing out the usual platitudes) the people behind Magnum Gold reveal that they are in tune with the requirements of an increasingly thinking/ discerning Filipino market. For, as marketing Michael Engleman (EVP of the American cable company Syfy and Chiller) wrote in Creating Big Buzz Through New Modes of Storytelling in its Dec. 2013 issue: “Technology has completely changed the dynamic between brands who are actively creating products and those of us who consume them. What used to be a one-way dynamic — I make a product, and then you go consume it  — is today a two-way relationship. As a result, both our consumers, and us as marketers, are becoming just as important to the 'storytelling process.’”


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