Unilever's Walls ice cream brand has opened a pop-up ice cream shop at Old Spitalfields Market for the summer, reimagining soft serve icecream for Millenial and Gen Z consumers, while ensuring it remains compelling as ever for traditional audiences.
Unilever created a 'special projects' division within Walls, with a license to think as a disruptor brand would. Designed in collaboration with international branding and retail design agency, I-AM, the Soft Republic pop-up has been inspired by urban art. Shoreditch artist Rich Fairhead's work references local cues as well as a world of icy-soft joyfulness.
The pop-up is playfully punky, vibrant and immediately appealing to young and old, hipsters and tourists, and has launched in tandem with a social media-led strategy to encourage fans to spread the world and share their ice cream creations.
Customers invent their own ice cream creation – hot dog, burger, magic box, cone or even a soft-ice toffee (affogato). I-AM worked closely with product development specialist, F.I.S. on these new formats. Customers are then encouraged to share their creations with the world on their social media platform of choice. The 'Hall of Fame' wall is covered in polaroids of customers' creations, and there are also plenty of Instagram worthy features in store.
'You're not just getting the job done, you can feel the passion,' says Ian Maskell, global vice president brand development, Walls, Unilever.