Wall’s rolls out Soft Republick disruptor brand in UK and Turkey
Ice cream brand Wall’s, owned by Unilever, has launched a series of stores, kiosks and ice cream vans in a bid to disrupt the global soft ice sector.
Launched under the name Soft Republick, the experiences have been designed by I-AM to provide a place ‘Where art meets ice cream.’ They are located in Brighton, UK, and Istanbul, Turkey, and seek to encourage self-expression among customers, celebrate individuality and champion creativity.
The project follows a trial pop-up store in London’s Spitalfields in summer 2017, and is now being applied at an international scale. It uses a grassroots marketing approach that engages local artists to decorate stores and vans, resulting in a strong visual impact – which is combined with new ice cream products and activation events.
I-AM worked with a dedicated Unilever team which has been challenged to think and act like a start-up. The result is a brand concept designed to be a positive force for good in unsettling times, by bringing communities together through the joy of ‘messy creativity’.
Brighton and Istanbul were chosen as locations to develop ‘ecosystems’ that could set a template for potential future expansion by evaluating and adapting the brand model in live sites. The brand has been created from the outset to be flexible, using an adaptable kit-of-parts of formats and visual assets, allowing the brand to vary its look and feel to suit different locations.
The flagship ice cream bar offers a flexible art gallery area that can be used as a chillout or events space, while kiosks in transport hubs and other high footfall areas offer a more curated product offer. A portable plug-in ice cream machine allows the Soft Republick brand to develop partnerships with local cafes and coffee shops.
Walls senior global brand manager Fernanda Costa describes the initiative as “A sophisticated and innovative brand experience with flexible assets that could travel across Soft Republick’s ecosystem”.
“It’s been really inspiring to design and deliver and entirely new product, brand and experience for Soft Republick through our collaboration with the Unilever team – an idea that seems to embody many directional trends and shifts in society, such as what consumers now look for in terms of innovation, creativity, purpose and meaning and communities,” says I-AM partner and creative strategy director Pete Champion.
Published: 21 August 2018 on Retail Design World