A life-sized ice sculpture of an African elephant stands in Toronto’s Distillery District.

A life-sized ice sculpture of an African elephant stands in Toronto’s Distillery District.

Facing limited awareness in a highly competitive category, Amarula sought to increase brand familiarity and purchase intent in Canada. As a South African cream liqueur made from marula fruit (a favourite of local elephants), the brand saw an opportunity in World Elephant Day to tie its business challenges into its efforts to raise awareness for the looming extinction of African elephants.
While Amarula’s initial plans were to deploy a global asset – an elephant ice sculpture – as a life-sized billboard, YBIMC saw an opportunity to build something bigger. Rooted in the staggering insight that an African elephant is killed for its ivory every 15 minutes, YBIMC created The Tale of the Disappearing Elephant, an emotionally dynamic experience spanning experiential marketing, TV, radio, digital, and PR.

Program Case Study

Leading up to World Elephant Day on August 12, 2018, YBIMC helped Amarula take over the airwaves, creating a national TV campaign that included a 15-second spot, ‘snipes’ at 15-minute programming marks, and live content on Breakfast Television featuring a world-renowned elephant expert. Awareness efforts also included a 30-second radio spot and live remotes – all built around calling attention to the plight of African elephants and the fact that one is lost to poaching every 15 minutes.
On World Elephant Day, in the heat of summer, the lifelike ice sculpture was placed in the heart of Toronto’s Distillery District, accompanied by a custom video wall detailing the plight of African elephants and introducing Amarula’s connection to the gentle giants.
Water drips off the Amarula elephant ice sculpture.
As the @AmarulaElephant’s story unfolded, Canadians responded in a big way, surpassing the 10,000 retweet goal within hours, while besting the Twitter average engagement rates for the advocacy (+58%) and alcohol (+120%) categories.
The program gained further traction by way of YBIMC’s dedicated PR efforts, which secured national media coverage in trade, print, and broadcast media – including more than five and a half minutes of earned content across major Ontario TV stations.
Across earned, paid, and digital media, the program delivered over 64 million impressions, which surpassed the campaign goal by 137%. Critically, this emotionally dynamic experience led to a 24% increase in positive impression of the brand, a 41% increase in brand familiarity, and a 97% increase in purchase likelihood. In the end, doing good was great for business, and more.
Re-live the @AmarulaElephant’s story on Twitter or visit amarula.com to learn more.

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