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From the 15th Annual Shorty Awards

Get The Scoop On Great Ice Cream With Karo® Corn Syrup

Silver Honor in Instructional Video


Every holiday season home bakers stock up on Karo® Corn Syrup to make family favorites like pecan pie, peanut brittle, and chocolate fudge. But come January many households still have Karo in their pantry waiting to be used again for a Thanksgiving or holiday recipe. 

Our challenge was to identify a new season and create a reason where Karo could be the hero. 

Our primary objective was to celebrate a new usage occasion that could easily be ritualized and spur off-season sales. We analyzed dessert-related search trends and noticed a surge of interest behind “no-churn ice cream,” and we saw an opportunity for Karo to be synonymous with summer. Thanks to Karo, consumers could use up their leftover corn syrup to make ice cream that didn’t require new kitchen gadgets or equipment. 

A cool twist on a classic ingredient is just what consumers are craving.

The secondary objective was to expand our user base beyond the core Gen X and Boomer home baker and attract younger, more diverse households with children. Millennial-aged households are a primed segment to engage as their families are growing. Consumers needed to know that Karo was anything but traditional, and in fact, we could help modern families create their own traditions.

Strategy and Execution

Our partners at Karo whipped up a fantastic recipe for a No-Churn Cookies & Cream Ice Cream recipe, which would be served up as the must-try recipe of the summer. We just needed to get the word out.

When it comes to food, seeing is believing for Millennial consumers.

No other generation has looked to the internet for food inspiration and how-to’s like Millennials. Ypulse syndicated data showed that 71% claim to watch online videos about food and recipes, and 56% would cook a meal that was trending on social media. This digital native propensity supported our strategy to create an instructional video that would show how easy it is to make homemade ice cream while introducing Karo in a fresh, new way. 

An oft-looked over pantry staple required a fresh face and a fresh voice.

To capture the attention of a younger audience and break the conventional brand associations with pies and brittles, we recruited actor and TV host, Mario Lopez, and his wife, Courtney Lopez, to demonstrate our No-Churn Cookies & Cream Ice Cream recipe. They spoke to creating new traditions with their three children and their affable sensibility was just what our 120-year-old brand needed. Filmed in their kitchen, we captured how a real family can make really delicious and easy ice cream thanks to Karo.

I scream, you scream, we all scream for…Ronald Reagan?

Designated by presidential proclamation, President Reagan declared July as National Ice Cream Month, which served as the perfect time to roll out our ice cream content. Limited by a modest budget, we focused our efforts to :15 video units customized for Instagram posts and stories to drive awareness of our three-and-a-half minute instructional video hosted on the Karo website. We surrounded our instructional video with additional content featuring simple hot fudge and caramel sauce recipes that could make a no-churn recipe the centerpiece of a summer sundae bar. 

The entirety of our digital campaign lasted only five weeks and our success was defined by two key metrics. First, we needed to demonstrate that our instructional video was engaging, and second, it needed to resonate with our younger, Millennial segment.


Our No-Churn Cookies & Cream Ice Cream video featuring Mario and Courtney Lopez surpassed our initial KPIs and has positioned Karo for a sweet future with more to come.

The metrics for our instructional video beat all expectations.

Our first paid media flight achieved a video view rate (VVR) of 13.26%--more than twice the industry benchmark of 5.61, and our second paid flight achieved a video view rate (VVR) of 17.09%. 

Millennials were hot for our ice cream content.

We made significant progress with engaging our Millennial segment. Karo’s website analytics indicated that visitors aged 25-44-years-old increased by a staggering 41.2%. Within that segment, we saw the greatest growth with elder Millennials and “Cuspers” aged 35-44, which increased by 33.1%.

Additionally, we saw a 222% increase in overall website traffic during 9 weeks of the summer versus the same period in the previous year–this window included the first 6 weeks when our campaign was active and 3-weeks afterwards. Sessions were up by 185% and time on site increased by 69%. 

Who knew ice cream could pack such a punch?


Video for Get The Scoop On Great Ice Cream With Karo® Corn Syrup

Entrant Company / Organization Name

Upshot, Karo (ACH Foods)


Entry Credits