Holanda Mexico: Mordisko's first programmatic branding campaign

August 2017

Unilever Mexico ran a 360° campaign aimed at positioning its products in the snack market. With the support of Initiative, Cadreon Mexico, and Google, Mordisko managed to captivate millions of people in Mexico, becoming the best-selling ice cream in the country.


Change perception of Mordisko

Increase per-capita consumption of Mordisko


Analyzed consumers' snack time preferences

Designed 360º campaign for Mordisko ice cream sandwich

Ran dynamic ads across Google Display Network

Used Vogon to generate customized YouTube creative

Developed YouTube masthead ad with interactive game

Used Google Marketing Platform’s proximity targeting to reach consumers when they were close to points of sale


98M total impressions

+37% increase in sales over previous year

45 seconds average interaction time with YouTube masthead game (nearly 3X more than Unilever average)

Creating appropriate messages and generating connections with customers are two fundamental goals for any marketing strategy. Programmatic technology has made these goals a reality. This tool allows different ads to be targeted and personalized, reaching all possible target markets with incredibly attractive, highly relevant content. eMarketer predicts that 83% of all display ad purchases will be programmatic this year.

Brands find this technology very useful when it comes to creating well-targeted and high-performing marketing campaigns. Thus, Holanda Ice Cream in Mexico opted for a programmatic campaign, one supported by Initiative and Cadreon, to captivate its audience with original offers in the right place and time.

100% made in Mexico 

In Mexico, ice cream is synonymous with Holanda, a Unilever brand that has offered its customers classic, delicious flavors for the past 90 years. In 2016, the company set out to gain ground in the snack world. After analyzing their consumers, they discovered a fundamental variable: the treat factor. Holanda realized that people choose different snacks every day to satisfy their appetites, while ice cream had been solely reserved for special occasions. But there was one exception.

Mordisko proved to be the brand that, because of its size, shape, and convenient price, was most appealing as a gateway to the sweet snack niche. In 2016, for the first time in 18 years, this frozen sandwich became Holanda's flagship item. At first, the company’s only goal was to position it as a treat by trying to capture snack time between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. However, with Google's help, in addition to Initiative's and Cadreon's strategies, the results significantly exceeded their expectations.

Mordisko—A pioneer in programmatic branding

Using the product's cheeky personality, the brand sought to connect with and speak directly to its customers. Under the tagline "Freeze Your Hunger,” it decided to implement a 360° campaign, designing—together with Initiative—a media plan that included ads on both traditional and digital media, as well as a major brand activation and deployment in public spaces. In the meantime, the campaign reached a milestone in the online field thanks to Cadreon. Cadreon enabled them to become the first Mexican company to venture into programmatic technology to meet its branding goals.

The campaign included different dynamic ad formats promoted on the Google Display Network, as well as a strong YouTube presence. YouTube ads included personalized, geo-located messages powered by the Vogon system.

What is Vogon? It's a Google-developed technology that enables advertisers to dynamically integrate text, audio, and images into their videos to create unlimited variations on a single ad. This achieves more highly segmented communications, accounting for the user's context and interests when selecting the content to be viewed.

Thanks to Cadreon's work as the lead on programmatic solutions, the campaign was the first to use Google Marketing Platform's1 proximity targeting to reach users when they are near specific points on a map. Following Cadreon's strategy, Holanda aimed its ads at consumers who passed by Mordisko points of sale around snack time, resulting in the product’s selling out in many cases.

In regard to creatives, Initiative implemented different ads for the brand that used funny, hunger-related phrases that varied depending on the video that the user had decided to watch. For example, if someone was searching for a romantic song, the message read: “Time heals every thing. As does a Mordisko.” The same approach was applied to the latest music videos, including content related to special events or YouTubers. 

Furthermore, the brand also developed a masthead ad on YouTube that included an interactive game similar to the traditional “Pac-Man,” albeit with a frozen sandwich as the protagonist. The latter appeared at the top of the home page, catching the eyes of more than 14M users and owning the front page of the most visited video platform in the world for 24 hours. On smartphones, the brand used a tool that showed consumers the closest point of sale to buy the product.

Thanks to Initiative and Cadreon's combined efforts, Mordisko became one of the first advertisers in Mexico to implement such a massive branding strategy using programmatic technology. It also marked Unilever's first foray into the world of Vogon video. The "Freeze Your Hunger" campaign was the largest targeting strategy in Mordisko's history, and its amazing results attest to that fact.

Large-scale growth

Overall, the campaign delivered more than 98M impressions, including 157,000 users who watched the entire ads. Mobile devices recorded 77% of total impressions, generating more than 1.5M clicks. 

In terms of average frequency, the brand decided to monitor its ads in real time to avoid overexposing the market to the messages. Thanks to Vogon's technology, 180 variants of the videos were created, each one lasting around 12 seconds. The ads recorded an average of 3.4 impressions per user, meaning that the audience wouldn't be saturated by excessive repetition. One of digital advertising's biggest advantages comes specifically from giving the advertiser total control over the number of times its audience is exposed to ads, enabling more effective communication while optimizing its investment. 

Additionally, with respect to the “Pac-Man” game, the public's response was more than positive, achieving an average interaction of 45 seconds, nearly tripling Unilever's average watch time for this ad format.

Online results also made an impact in the offline world, resulting in a major boost in sales. In 2016, more than 70M Mordisko products were sold throughout Mexico, an increase of more than 37% over the previous year (with sales jumping by nearly 80% over the previous year during the weeks the campaign was live). This figure set a historic record for the brand, making the product the best-selling ice cream in the country.

Thanks to the advantages of our digital world, brands can now use powerful tools to engage and win over new customers by providing the right message at the right time. This case is a clear example of how advertisers who opt for innovative strategies can achieve highly effective communications, connecting with their target markets as they make decisions.

Incorporating attractive creatives into a media plan that includes programmatic buying opportunities, along with the possibilities that dynamic ads offer, multiplies the chances of creating successful campaigns, by offering content that is relevant to the context of each individual consumer.

Sources (1)

DoubleClick products for advertisers are now a part of the Google Marketing Platform. Learn about our new brands.