The secret of Magnum’s success in the Philippines doesn’t lie solely on the velvety, smooth and creamy ice cream coated with a thick layer of cracking real Belgian chocolate.
A lot of it has to do with its selection of Magnum ambassadors, who have 1.8 million Twitter followers among the six of them.
Though the total may be 2/3 of Anne Curtis Smith’s current following, the number is still significant. For as soon as the ambassadors got the go signal, they began a Twitter hashtag that immediately trended.
Soon, followers all over the country were rushing to their nearest convenience stores to buy one or all three flavors—Classic, Almond, and Chocolate Truffle.
Eager tasters photographed their loot, tweeted it, and posted pictures of themselves on Facebook with the ice cream bar. While thousands joined in the bandwagon, some were annoyed with the trending of what they called “the social climber’s ice cream.”
Led by main endorser Solenn Heussaff (a.k.a. the triple threat of singing, acting and painting), the ambassadors were composed of her brother, food blogger Erwan Heussaff (a.k.a. main squeeze of Manila’s darling Anne Curtis), celebrity stylist Liz Uy, socialite and hostess with the mostest Tessa Prieto Valdes, fashion designer Rajo Laurel, and creative consultant Raymond Gutierrez.
L-R: Erwann Heussaff, Liz Uy, Raymond Gutierrez, Solenn Heusaff, Rajo Laurel, Tessa Valdes
Last March 14, 2012, all that tweeting and ice cream hoarding led to a huge VIP party staged by Robby Carmona and SAGA Events at Whitespace.
After a nice dinner at Mangetsu on Jupiter Street, my friends and I headed over to Pasong Tamo extension, which was unusually slowed down by traffic. After all the crowd that attended was estimated between 700-800 guests.
A massive letter M greeted us at the driveway, which had, on the left, the longest red carpet and step and repeat (photo wall) known to Manila.
To the right, tons of photographers, cameramen and lenses waiting for guests to arrive.
The first guest I spotted was ABS-CBN President Charo Santos-Concio, whom I never see in product launches, so my impression was, woah, this is HUGE.
Not wishing to be photographed, my friends and I slipped behind the photographers and watched the people enter from the sideline. (We also turned down an opportunity to be photographed at the throne.)
On the red carpet: Magnum Global Team (L-R) Jessica O’Donell, Sophie Galvani, Mick Van Ettinger, May Suenikom, Vanessa Caralps
Divine Lee and Victor Basa
Ces Olondriz, Nicole Andersson and Xeng Zulueta
Pia Magalona and Pia Guanio
Bianca Gonzalez and Magnum Brand Manager Jean Madrid
Unilever-RFM CEO & Managing Director John Concepcion with Tessa Prieto-Valdes and Peachy Concepcion
When the five brand ambassadors arrived in gray Jaguars, pandemonium ensued—among photographers, that is. That was our cue to enter the party venue, which was wrapped in video screens.
We watched as they projected Solenn Heussaff arriving in a hot red Ferrari driven by Autostrada Motore Inc.’s Executive Director, Marc Soong.
The Techy Romantics warmed up the party before TV commercials were screened and the ambassadors individually introduced onstage, Robby Carmona-style.
Models came out in black tie opening bars of Magnum
Then a video featuring Solenn Heussaff
She finally emerged singing with backup dancers as trays of Magnum ice cream were served to guests.
When German DJ Kid Fresh started to play his set, that was our cue to go home and leave the dancing to the youngsters. That was 10:30 PM.
Finally, this video by Rappler.com captures the mood.
Magnum Ice Cream is a collaboration between Unilever and RFM, mother company of local dairy giant Selecta. Through its many years in the Philippine market, Selecta Ica Cream has consistently been a major industry player—a position that will certainly be cemented with this major launch.