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Case study: How Baskin Robbins boosted its social performance

The 2017 SEA Games caused much excitement nationwide in Malaysia, which saw several brands capitalising on the biannual multi-sport event to launch campaigns and offers.

Among the brands was Baskin-Robbins, which wanted to boost its social media presence with the help of a SEA Games-related campaign. As such, it roped in creative and digital agency FOREFRONT International to launch the #freescoopnight campaign.

This led FOREFRONT International to win gold for Best Idea – Integrated Media at MARKies Malaysia 2018.

The post was done in conjunction with FOREFRONT International.

Problem

If there’s something Malaysians can’t live without, it’s food. But start the topic of desserts and you have yourself a national sport that everyone will participate in. Baskin-Robbins wanted to treat all Malaysians to a sweet reward of their favourite ice-cream flavours with its “Free Scoop Night”. Everyone was encouraged to join in the celebration of Malaysia’s SEA Games 2017 wins in their most patriotic outfits such as the national sports jersey or outfits that best represented the nation.

Aiming to replicate the success of its first “Free Scoop Night” after Malaysia’s stellar performance at the 2012 London Summer Olympics, FOREFRONT was tasked to create an engaging campaign to build great momentum leading up to the nationwide event and boost the brand’s social media presence.

Solution

The campaign’s concept – OMG, inspired by “Oh My Goodness” – is a phrase commonly used as an expression to convey excitement and surprise. FOREFRONT applied this acronym using its own interpretation in a Malaysian-specific context to convey the joy in celebrating the unity and diversity of Malaysians on Malaysia Day, and the great accomplishments of Malaysian athletes at the SEA Games 2017.

The campaign’s target audience was Malaysians of all ages, including new and repeat customers. FOREFRONT used an integrated approach to maximise reach and engagement of the target audience via all relevant touch-points.

Social media: To help Baskin-Robbins get the word out, FOREFRONT conceptualised and launched the #freescoopnight campaign using Facebook and Instagram as the main social platforms. It was primarily driven by a series of OMG-themed postings that invited the public to participate in the Malaysia Day-themed ice-cream giveaway. Some of the OMG phrases used included: “Oh Malaysiaku Gemar”, “Oh My Gold”, “On My Game” and so on.

On-ground and in-store promotional items: In-store promotional collaterals such as buntings, standees and digital banners were used to maintain consistent offline experiences. These store-wide displays were aimed at grabbing shoppers” attention and getting them excited for the event.

Mainstream and alternative media: FOREFRONT leveraged on b-rolls taken during the event and sent them to TV stations so they could utilise them for broadcast purposes. Besides that, articles were structured and tailored to the audiences of local daily online and offline newspapers, with languages translated to Bahasa Melayu where necessary.

Objective

To achieve Baskin-Robbins’ goal of re-engaging its customers, the key objectives of the #freescoopnight campaign included maximising the event turnout by increasing awareness and improving the social media performance.

Execution

Pre-event: The OMG-themed wordplay was mainly used in pre-event social media postings to build awareness and create hype for Baskin-Robbins’ target audience. Clear information was communicated through the postings, as a reminder to the audiences on what to expect on event day. Press releases were also issued to raise awareness on event day.

Event day: FOREFRONT covered the event using Facebook Live, and shared the moments through Instagram stories. The #freescoopnight social media campaign was also supported by on-ground and in-store promotional items.

Post-event: To give event and non-event participants a glimpse and memory of the Free Scoop Night event, FOREFRONT created a highlight reel and posted it on Facebook. The video acted as a reminder of the good times spent with each other on #freescoopnight, united by the narrative of “One Scoop, One Nation”. Meanwhile, appreciation posts and photos were also uploaded on both social platforms to re-engage with the audience.

Results

Over a period of two hours on Malaysia Day (16 September 2017) between 8pm-10pm, Malaysians were treated to a complimentary junior scoop ice-cream each.

The campaign resulted in a 30km-long queue for Free Scoop Night with more than 100,000 scoops of ice-cream handed out – exceeding Baskin-Robbins’ 2012 Free Scoop Night’s success by 47%.

The story regarding the event was picked up by some of the nation’s leading mainstream media such as TV3, The Star, New Straits Times, The Sun Daily and Harian Metro. On top of that, alternative media such as World of Buzz and Discover KL also covered highlights of the #freescoopnight campaign.

Digitally, the campaign objectives were met:

  • Facebook: Baskin-Robbins’ Facebook fan page gained 6,892 fans within the campaign period and an increase of 87.85% in engagement.
  • The series of #freescoopnight video postings showed outstanding performances as well, with the most viewed video at 8.5,000 views and a 2.16% engagement rate. These video postings also made it to the “top 5 most-viewed videos” on Baskin-Robbins’ Facebook page throughout the duration of the campaign.
  • Instagram: The campaign increased its Instagram fan base by 3,602 fans, along with 9,123 engagements within the campaign period. To top it off, there was a total of 641 posts from customers sharing their experiences using the event hashtag –#freescoopnight on Instagram.