14th August 2017
Brand owner Unilever created a special project division within Wall’s, with a licence to think as a disruptor brand would. It was tasked with creating a new, standalone experiential brand that could reinvent soft serve ice cream for millennial and Generation Z consumers.
The soft serve ice cream category is considered to be ripe for pop-up and flagship experiences, especially those aimed at heavy users of social media.
Agency I-AM was appointed to the project, which sought to enhance the emotional connection beween Wall’s and its customers. Soft Republic is intended as a fresh and vibrant umbrella brand for the diverse range of Wall’s soft serve products, and one that is applicable across a range of retail and experiential scenarios.
The first outing for the brand has been an ‘urban explosion’ pop-up store, inspired by urban art, in Spitalfields Market.
The ‘playfully punky’ store is designed to appeal to a broad cross section of consumers, from local hipsters to tourists.
A social media strategy was launched in tandem with the store to gain maximum impact.
To ensure flexibility, there is no rigid ‘design bible’ for stores. Instead, a design philosophy has been established to offer a wide range of visual elements. This allows the concept to be adapted to specific locations, with street art playing a key role.
Shoreditch artist Rich Fairhead’s work was used in the launch pop-up, with local cues included in his images.
The launch store features pop-up stapes such as plywood counter units.
Window graphics and menu blackboards guide customers through the process of making their own ice cream creation, with a broad variety of styles and ingredients.
They are encouraged to share the results via social media, with staff adding Polaroid images to a ‘Hall of Fame’ display. ‘Instagram moment’ opportunities have been designed into the store from the outset.
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