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Viral Social Media Marketing Strategy for a Hot Chocolate Drink | The Snowman

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Snowman Stick Figure for Viral Cafe Hot Chocolate Drink

After the widely successful Cheesecake On A Stick campaign, we turned our attention on how to repeat the success during the busy winter season in Dubai. This case study lays out the step-by-step process that our team used to create another Viral Social Media Marketing campaign for our restaurant client.

Our Process to Generate a Viral Social Media Marketing Campaign

1. Use data analytics to identify a product that will do well for restaurant sales. 2. Employ our story-telling and creative strategy to bring life to the product visually. Create strong taglines that are memorable for the end customer. 3. Content creation to showcase the product in different angles, and use cases. 4. Distribution with effective influencer marketing and targeted ads. The campaign planning started with a kick off meeting on the first Friday of November.


We sat down with the client to highlight the importance of creating a viral drink during the popular winter months.


We needed to create a winter drink that would give the customer all the winter vibes ☃️

A drink that is reminiscent of rainy days in Dubai 🌦️ The Donut Media digital marketing team started researching trends on social media and aggregator platforms to see what items were doing well. At this stage, we very broadly defined doing 'well' by seeing if a certain product seemed to pop up often or really caught our eye for its visuals. One product that matched the criteria was the hot chocolate drink 🍫


Caffe Di Roma’s hot chocolate tastes pretty good, but it needed our aesthetic touch and an attractive story line...⤵️


Once we had identified the drink that Donut Media was going to promote, we now had to define it's visuals and storylines. Any and every cafe serves hot chocolate. Clearly, we were not going to make a drink viral by serving what everyone else in the market was serving. For this we partnered up with the dubai based influencer @thedubailist to co-create the visuals. Our partnership also explored influencer marketing in a fresh and innovative way (more on that later).


Women creating Snowman Stick Figure for Viral Cafe Hot Chocolate Drink

Co-creating the drink with Haya at the store...⤴️

After much trial and error, we tweaked the classic Italian hot chocolate to create a visually appealing drink.

cup sleeve design for viral hot chocolate drink

The final product was complemented with a snowman stick figure, a meringue bed for the snowman to stay afloat, and a gorgeous winter-y cup sleeve designed by Nooren.


Throw in a bit of Christmas angle for the photoshoots + print assets, and “The Snowman” was thus born.


The feed was launched with a set of teasers showcasing the snowmen just lounging around and without showing the cup or the drink.


This successfully built curiosity and hype around the new launch. The second set of images showed the product in it's full glory, alongside some making-of & POV videos. This allowed users to fully appreciate and visualize the drink without needing to have bought the drink.


Follower growth from 7,000 to approximately 12,000 and more than 14 million impressions...⤵️

For influencer marketing, we partnered (on a commission basis) with Haya from @thedubailist based on their reach, audience, and affinity for our winter drink. This reduced the upfront cost for the client in distributing the drink.


And Haya's involvement with the drink creation meant greater ownership of the product, resulting in better content than your typical influencer content.


man and woman holding the viral snowman drink in dubai

The campaign started slowly, but soon enough, influencers & publications started appearing at the restaurant to cover the drink.


Hot chocolate cup sales in the cafe rose from 7-10 per day all the way up to consistently in the 40-50s. The hot chocolate drink is normally sold for AED 19, but during the promo period, we advised that the price be raised to AED 28. Consumers were willing to pay for this (as per our market research) because it looked unique.


The increased price also reflected the additional costs of the drink - Snowman product (AED 2), Cup sleeves (AED 1), and the Influencer commission.


Sales grew at almost 5x the previous quarter.

Client retention was extended. PS: We mention frequently that the product went viral and show a few examples.

To get a true understanding of how viral the Snowman became, please click on this link that shows the tagged content on the client’s page

In fact, the GM was so happy with our work - he shared a few thoughts about his experience with Donut Media in this video.


Donut Media - Enabling viral social media marketing strategy for restaurants 📈 As a marketing agency , what makes us different is our attention towards product-first marketing. Our key strength lies in our deep understanding of the restaurant industry and the marketing methodology that works for this sector/niche.

If you're looking for a performance-focused marketing agency to add structure in your marketing efforts, track your ROI from marketing efforts, and improve your digital footprint. Get in touch with us!


Read more about our team here. Read about our 5-star reviews here, also watch a video on our clients talking about their experience with us.

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