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Marketers@Cannes: Ice-cream is not a low-involvement product – Ian Maskell, Global Marketing Director – Heartbrand Ice Cream (Unilever)

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Marketers@Cannes: Ice-cream is not a low-involvement product – Ian Maskell, Global Marketing Director – Heartbrand Ice Cream (Unilever)

“Ice-cream is not a low-involvement product as thought by many people,” insisted Ian Maskell, Global Marketing Director – Heartbrand Ice Cream (Unilever), while speaking exclusively to exchange4media on the sidelines of the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival 2010.

He added, “People are choosy about their brands and selective about their flavours and they’ll go to any extent to get it.” However, the brand was not so big in India, and Maskell accepted that there was a need to give a push to the brand in India. The brand operates under Kwality in India. “We’ve been historically weak in India,” he admitted, adding, “Time has come when we have to the give a push to the brand. However, we have ice-cream parlours by the name of Swirl operating in India, which are doing very well.”

Maskell is also responsible for looking at the brand Swirl. “My next visit to India is due very soon,” he said.

Maskell also talked about the brand’s ‘Share Happy’ campaign, which is active both online and offline. Why ‘happy’ and not ‘happiness’? Maskell laughs, and said, “I know ‘Share Happy’ is grammatically incorrect. But we found it quirky and funny. And ice-cream is all about spreading joy and happiness, and happiness is all about seizing the moment.”

As part of the campaign, a Smile Machine has been put up at high footfall areas. “The machine captures your smile and uploads it on Facebook. It is about sharing happiness, sharing your smile,” said Maskell. In return, one can get an ice-cream free.

Earlier, Maskell was part of the session titled ‘Customers are from mars, Brand are from Venus. Experience Brings the Romance Back into Media’, on Sunday. While speaking at the session, Maskell had said that “money doesn’t make you happy. It is things like music and ice-cream that make you happy; and happier people live longer.” To emphasise his point, he said that Bhutan measured the prosperity of a person not by the wealth he owned, but by the person’s happiness. The country, he pointed out, had a ‘Gross National Happiness’ metrics.

And “ice-cream was all about happiness. It focuses on the now, while having it. It’s got nothing to do with the past,” he said.


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