Since tech giants such as Facebook, Google, and Amazon are eating 90 cents out of every new dollar spent on online advertising in Sweden, publishers are facing rough times. The tiny 10 cents on every dollar left for us means we need to step up our innovation game.

When Unilever’s media agency, Mindshare, approached Schibsted early in 2017 with a brief for Heartbrand Ice Cream (called GB Glace in Europe), we had to get into our most creative mindset and start thinking what really engages readers.

Sweden’s banking industry has been on the leading edge with peer-to-peer payment solutions. One of the most popular wallet apps in Sweden is Swish, which is now used by a whopping 6.8 million Swedes for everything from splitting dinner bills to buying used cars. This was the underlying inspiration for our campaign.

We tapped into Swish’s high penetration and create a mobile gifting campaign where Aftonbladet readers could give their friends GB Glace ice cream throughout the summer with just a few clicks using Swish.

In addition to partnering up with Swish, we also needed to team with convenience and grocery retailers that sell the ice cream to make distribution possible. ClearOn is leading the development of vouchers and payment services in the retail trade in Sweden. We partnered with them to drive the online sales of fast moving consumer goods (FMCG) such as ice cream to the physical retail points such as 7-Eleven.

In the summer of 2018, Unilever’s campaign launched on Aftonbladet.se, which is Sweden’s No. 1 news app, reaching 70% of all Swedes every week. We used simple mobile ads encouraging readers to take actions such as “Swish an ice cream to the one you love” and “Share joy,” which ties in with GB Glace’s slogan. Clicking the ad led the reader to our landing page with further steps. In under 30 seconds, they could write a personal message and send an ice cream gift card to a friend.

Readers of Aftonbladet could click and Swish the gift of ice cream to friends on warm summer days as part of an ad campaign for GB Glace/Heartbrand.
Readers of Aftonbladet could click and Swish the gift of ice cream to friends on warm summer days as part of an ad campaign for GB Glace/Heartbrand.

Simple and easy. Fast payments for fast moving consumer goods — just as it should be.

Summing up the campaign, in September 2018, we could see that not only did this campaign have excellent results in both increasing preference and purchase intent, but also that 21,423 ice creams were Swished during our campaign — each and every one of them was prepaid, peer-to-peer.

One thing FMCG companies really love is hard facts and figures. Here we could demonstration a direct return on media investment.

Schibsted is now offering this new exciting ad format to all of our FMCG advertisers as an option where engagement and action KPIs could be met, meaning that not all engagement campaigns have to go to Facebook and Google anymore. The innovation does not stop, and we are now looking into possibilities together with our partners at ClearOn and Swish to further develop our offering and take mobile gifting campaigns to the next level.