Cornetto scoops up notable brand lift with weather and location data

June 26, 20243 minute read
Unilever | Mindshare - BFA '24 Winner - Couple eating ice cream with graphics of hearts and butterflies floating around them

Who doesn’t love an ice cream on a hot, sunny day? For Cornetto, the mission was to use weather and location data to serve up relevant and inspiring ads, tempting customers to choose its ice cream when the cravings hit.

“The Soft Server custom solution resulted in great performance for our brand. We look forward to using this data-driven approach for other key brands across the Unilever portfolio.”

Jenny Stirland

Digital Business Director, Mindshare


Optimising media and messaging when the sun is shining

Cornetto Soft is considered Unilever’s most irresistible, one-of-a-kind treat – the perfect way to keep cool on a warm summer’s day. The challenge for its agency, Mindshare, was encouraging ice cream lovers to choose Cornetto Soft – before they’d even set foot in a store – and deliver on their target growth of market share.

For that, the team worked with us to build the Soft Server, a bespoke and revolutionary tool that blends media and message according to the sun, stock levels, and surroundings. It not only set a new standard for relevant performance marketing, but also accomplished this without cookies or personal identifiers. Here’s how.


Using advanced location and weather data to serve up relevant ads

To make sure they delivered a highly relevant campaign, the team developed an omnichannel approach and used us to build the “Soft Server”. This algorithmic, data-driven decision engine blends data from first- and third-party sources (including location, stock, and weather data) to then give us relevant suggestions through postcodes that over-index for the target customer via our API.

With this custom solution, the team was able to activate the campaign across audio, display, and digital out-of-home – all through one platform. This meant they could adapt their budget and optimise to their KPIs according to the most relevant meteorological moments and locations. In other words, we helped serve up ads wherever the sun was shining.

Thanks to this innovative omnichannel approach, Cornetto Soft’s market share more than doubled, versus the target. By leveraging cross-channel frequency caps, the team prevented millions of wasted impressions, which it then reinvested to help achieve additional reach. What’s more, the advertised product – Cornetto Soft Chocolate – saw an uplift in sales, while the overall Cornetto brand saw an even bigger uplift.

Following these impressive results, Unilever plans to roll out the custom solution to power all of its ice cream brand campaigns

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