Magnum: cracking America with film shorts

Magnum, the indulgent European ice cream brand from Unilever, is to touch down on US shores later this month taking on well-seeded brands such as Haagen-Dazs and Ben & Jerry’s with a major campaign focused on entertainment.

In order to cement its position as the luxury ice-cream brand of choice, Unilever has developed a series of short films to familiarise US consumers with the “pleasurable lifestyle Magnum ice cream has cultivated around the world”.

The original film series, created by iconic fashion designer Karl Lagerfeld and starring Hollywood actress Rachel Bilson, will make its red carpet premiere at the Tribecca Film Festival on the 21st April.

“Both Karl Lagerfeld and Rachel Bilson have an uncompromising sense of style, and are driven by their passions in life," said Brian Manning, Vice President of Brand Building at Unilever’s ice cream division. "The Magnum campaign reminds women that pleasure is theirs for the taking—they just need to reach for it."

Seemingly taking its lead from a series of shorts from Dior last year, which featured French actress Marion Cotillard in a series of vignettes, Rachel Bilson has been cast as three distinct characters in Lagerfeld’s micro movies. ‘Photo Mood’ sees her portraying a frustrated model, ‘Applause’ has her aping Natalie Portman’s role in Black Swan as a prima ballerina, and in ‘Art Class’ she expresses her love of Magnum through art.

The first film trailers arrive on the Magnum’s Facebook page on the 19th April, ahead of the premiere during the Tribeca Film Festival.

Magnum has a number of barriers to overcome as it debuts in the States. One major concern is that Magnum is already an established condom brand, which doesn’t necessarily make for the subtlest of connections. Secondly, recession hit consumers may be reticent to add another luxury line to their shopping cart.

Tackling the second problem had on, the brand has opted to position its product at the very top end of the market, appealing to high-end consumers via a high-end fashion collaboration and reminding its prominently female customers that a small dose of luxury is still affordable (even if a Lagerfeld dress is out of the question).

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