Facebook case study: Iceland repositions brand with smart retargetting

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Iceland made smart use of Facebook ads to reposition the UK frozen food retailer in a cost effective way. The use of video ads and retargeted follow ups was 2.5 times more cost effective than TV for reach.

Case study summary

• Iceland used video ads to video ads promote “power of Frozen” campaign
• Drove sales amongst viewers who had interacted with them with retargeted ads
• Achieved a 4.2% lift in online sales during direct response phase

The challenge

British frozen retail chain Iceland Foods opened its doors for business in 1969 and has since expanded to over 850 stores throughout the UK. With its focus on frozen foods, the company has carved out a unique position in the UK’s highly competitive retail sector.

Long associated with value and convenience, Iceland wanted to show that it also stood for quality, taste, healthiness and environmental responsibility. When it launched a new brand positioning in 2015, the company turned to Facebook to help introduce it to the public.

The solution

Together with its agency Ayima, Iceland developed a nationwide digital campaign for “The Power of Frozen”, which was part of a wider campaign that included TV and outdoor.


On Facebook, the campaign was designed to first build awareness with video ads, and then drive sales amongst those who had interacted with them.

The results

By combining eye-catching video ads with retargeted direct response ads, the frozen food retailer’s brand repositioning campaign reached a large audience and yielded an impressive return on investment—in a cost-effective way.

Iceland’s new campaign proved to be a big hit in terms of reach and recall, as well as in sales and return on investment.

Facebook delivered over 10% incremental reach on the TV campaign with an impressive 95% on-target accuracy, and was over twice as cost effective. Meanwhile, ad recall increased significantly, showing that Iceland’s target audience found the campaign memorable.

Having primed the audience with a branding phase, the second direct response phase was similarly successful. A conversion lift test revealed that Facebook had boosted online sales by over 4%. Starting in May 2015, the 4-month campaign achieved:

• 10% incremental reach amongst target audience
• 2.5X more cost effective than TV for reach
• 4-point lift in ad recall
• 4.2% lift in online sales during direct response phase

Andy Thompson, Social & Digital Manager, Iceland Foods, said: “The success of the Power of Frozen campaign—and Facebook’s performance in driving brand awareness as well as direct response—has reinforced its importance in our marketing mix. Facebook is now a major business driver for us and I can only see this growing in the future.”

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