2018 Brand Experience & Activation


Product/ServiceCOOP BRAND
Category A12. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) / Corporate Image
Name Company Position
Mattias Ronge Edelman Deportivo / Edelman CCO
Stefan Ronge Edelman Deportivo / Edelman CCO
Joachim Ewert Barrén Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Account Director
Simon Kraft Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Art Director
Anna Werkell Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Copywriter
Sebastian Brännén Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Art Director
Sofie Segerborg Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Senior Media Supervisor
Jonas Axblom Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Senior Content Strategist
Rasmus Keger Edelman Deportivo / Edelman Creative Director
Marie Wedin COOP Marketing Director
Sofia Borgblad COOP Project Manager
Anna Rasin COOP Communication Director
Ann Persson COOP Press Secretary
Anneli Bylund COOP Sustainability Strategist
Annika Ulfvin COOP Head of Digital Editorial Office
Elsa Andersson COOP Content Manager
Hanna de Ron COOP Web Editor

Why is this work relevant for Brand Experience & Activation ?

Food waste is a global problem and sadly, initiatives about sustainability tend to be seen as preachy and boring. By creating Old Milk, a perfume that smells like milk gone bad, Coop managed to create an experience-centered, integrated and innovative activation, that challenged the target group how they determine when something is ready for the trash. Through sampling events, smelly ads, microsite, outdoor, social and other touch points, Coop interacted with the target group on numerous occasions, which increased Coop’s brand perception as innovative and environmentally responsible.


Situation Food waste is a global problem and Sweden is no exception. 38 percent of the food in Swedish households is wasted and unlike what people in general think, households are responsible for more food waste than businesses. A reason being is that people tend to throw away products that have passed their over-cautious best before dates, without smelling or tasing them first. Brief Coop, the second largest grocery chain in Sweden, known for its sustainable practice, wanted to raise awareness about food waste in an engaging way, and by doing so being perceived as the most environmentally conscious Swedish brand within FMCG. Objectives Reach: 5 million earned media impressions (about half of Sweden’s population) 20 editorial articles Interaction: We wanted to create a physical interaction with the audience that could be evaluated through tangible results. Brand perception: Adding innovation and curiosity to Coop’s already trusted brand within sustainability.

Describe the creative idea

If people stopped relying on best-before dates, food waste would decrease significantly. What if we could find a way to remind people to smell and taste the food before throwing it away? We created Old Milk, a perfume that smells just like milk gone bad. Making it the first scent in the world people can use as a reference to know when their milk is drinkable or not. The perfume worked as an entertaining and unexpected way to reminded people to use their noses when determining when a product is ready for the trash. To increase the surprise and shock factors, we packaged the fragrance like a premium-brand perfume. By developing the perfume and by being fun and non-preachy, Coop sparked huge interest around food waste in a new way. Most importantly, they created a unique experience for the target group, that generated engagement towards sustainability and Coop’s brand.

Describe the strategy

Our target-audience was Swedes age 25-55, since many are environmentally conscious and have kids, which makes their food consumption relevant to target. Many companies are reactive and focus their sustainability work on risk minimizing. Communication often ends up being preachy and easy to shrug off. We wanted to create something unexpected and proactive that would evoke real emotion and engagement for the cause and Coop’s brand. Our strategy was an integrated brand experience, that would enable for many touch-points with the audience. We wanted to develop something tangible that had the 'ick-factor', which the public & media, could actually experience. We piggybacked on typical premium-perfume aesthetics in all our units and media-choices. We provided opinion leaders and influencers with a brand interaction worth sharing on their platforms.

Describe the execution

The scent of Old Milk was created by a professional perfumer, who got the assignment to recreate the smell of too old, undrinkable milk. The development took nearly 10 months. We launched through earned media and PR-activation, by sending out the perfume to influencers and journalists. We also pushed an online-film. This way, the audience was met by the perfume and Coop’s important sustainability-message all over social-media and relevant platforms. We supported the initiative with smelly ads that gave people a chance to try the perfume and billboards in Sweden’s hottest neighbourhood. We arranged events where by-passers could smell the perfume and talk to Coop about sustainability. All the attention for Old Milk lead people to the campaign site, where they could learn more about food waste and order a sample of the perfume. Old Milk became a tangible brand-experience that managed to change Coop’s brand perception in the target-group.

List the results

250 million earned media impressions (compared to objective 5 million impressions 213 media articles in 25 countries 8 000+ scent samples requested via campaign microsite in week 1 50 000+ visitors to the campaign microsite in week 1 96% of coverage mentioned we should start using our senses before throwing away food, in connection to Coop– proof the campaign message was impossible to miss or misunderstand. Global interest: Samples requested from Germany, France, The Netherlands, USA, India, Australia and China, as well as Sweden Coop brand perception as a modern company that takes responsibility for the environment, up 5% in Q3 compared to Q2 (with no other sustainability campaigns running). This outperforms any previous purpose campaign by Coop. Old Milk perceived to have a clear sustainability message. Old Milk was less than half as annoying as previous initiatives, indicating we stayed clear of guilt tripping or boring our audience.