Old Is Gold For Magnum Classic

Old Is Gold For Magnum Classic


Magnum are a consistently high performer in Test Your Ad, racking up plenty of 4- and 5-Star ads and scoring well even for the very competitive ice cream category. As a brand, they’ve been believers in not fixing what ain’t broken – Magnum ads have long shelf lives and go through plenty of variants and edits, all of which tend to perform as well or better than the original.

So a big new Magnum campaign is always interesting. “The Pleasure Residence” nods to the brand’s over-arching positioning around “pleasure” but gives it a new twist. Or should we say, an old twist. The ad shows a bunch of people checking into the “pleasure residence”, a luxury hotel for people who appreciate the good life. So what makes the ad different? They’re all from the older demographic. The ad is a celebration of Magnum’s older customers, whose age is no barrier to a sophisticated taste in ice cream.

As the ad’s tagline puts it, “There’s Old… And Then There’s Classic”. Classic Magnum is the branding for Magnum’s original line – the basic chocolate and vanilla combo that pre-dated the wild themes and flavours the brand has become known for since. Classic Magnum is the backbone of the range, which is presumably why owner Unilever and agency LOLA MullenLowe want to put it back in the spotlight. The ad is another high-scoring winner for the brand, with a 4.8-Star rating and Exceptional short-term Spike and Brand Fluency scores.

If “The Pleasure Residence” feels memorable and unconventional, that’s mostly down to its superior execution. But it’s also because, sadly, it’s rare to find ads which show older people enjoying and indulging themselves so whole-heartedly. Consumers in their 50s, 60s and older have enormous spending power, but relatively little adland visibility. And when the older generation do show up in ads, it’s often to enact a young person’s idea of middle or old age: pottering around, cooing over the grandchildren, worrying about insurance and pensions.

All those things have some truth to them, of course, but it means a whole side of the older experience gets missed out. Of course someone in their 60s would also like what’s shown in this ad: a bit of pampering, a swim in the pool, some cheeky jokes with friends and a self-indulgent ice cream treat. Hedonism in ads is reserved for the young, but “The Pleasure Residence” shows it doesn’t have to be.

Age inclusion was one of the themes which came up in the acclaimed Feeling Seen report published by ITV last year on diversity in advertising. It was startling to realise how little advertisers seemed to care about showing the full picture of older lives, and we’re teaming up with ITV again to produce a follow-up report which looks at age representation in particular. The success of this Magnum ad shows that breaking down the age barrier can make great advertising: hopefully it’ll prove to be part of a wider trend.