The deal took 18 months to create but is a very imaginative way of activating a tour sponsorship. Usually a brand sponsors a tour and the fans neither know nor care who it is. This time Cornetto have ensured that Taylor Swift fans care passionately about collecting the limited edition “Red” Cornetto. They have also marketed the association very heavily appearing on bus sides, posters and social media across the region.
It’s a very unique, on brand and well-targeted on pack partnership to promote the Asian tour association. The black forest and raspberry ice cream ingredients match Swift’s latest “Red” album as does the design and packaging. Taylor Swift wins here too with in store marketing that her record label would never pay for along with massive marketing campaign from Unilever and yet it targets her target audience perfectly.
Taylor Swift herself could have done a bit more to promote the association. The Cornetto global facebook page with their 10 million followers are being used to promote the association even though it’s just applicable for Asia and not where most of these fans are from, the United States.
Taylor Swift herself barely mentions the Cornetto tour on her page which has 60 million likes. She has a small promotion for Air Asia's flight deals for people wishing to fly to watch her in Asia but no mention of Cornetto. Maybe she got confused, they're both red and white coloured brands after all!
The Asian tour is playing Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Indonesia and Thailand. She has even created special videos talking about the association with Cornetto so ticking all the boxes of a sponsorship brand integration.
The limited edition black forest Red ice cream is wrapped in a red pack with Taylor Swift’s logo, and a call to action inviting consumers to buy the ice cream to stand a chance of winning seats at Swift’s concert or Taylor Swift merchandise such as guitar picks, her RED singles and signed guitars.
Cornetto also created a mobile music stage for a “Ride to Fame Competition” with Sony, which will give consumers the chance to perform for Taylor’s fans before her concert. While this is now a commonly used tactic (that X-Factor and Idol franchises have ensured that everyone has copied) Cornetto have not relied purely on this for the marketing activation of the tour sponsorship.
By ensuring that the winner can open each concert Unilever are ensuring that this is a real “money can’t buy” prize that will give them reams of excellent content to use and the winners an amazing experience all thanks to Cornetto.
Participants will be required to submit a YouTube submission of their chosen song before going through multiple rounds of public performances across the Asian countries involved to win the chance of performing before Swift’s dates in June.
I think that the only aspect that could have improved this brand partnership would have been offering priority tickets for those who bought the special edition Cornetto “Red”. Although buying the special edition is the only to win the exclusive prizes (which include tickets to the sold out tour) it would have been even better if there was a “Cornetto Red” enclosure at the concert just for those who have bought one or several special edition Cornetto’s for example. However overall it’s an ice cool brand partnership which benefits all parties and is very on brand all round.