Rest In Peace, Choco Taco

Klondike

Brand | Corporate Reputation | Crisis & Reputation Risk

Klondike caused a cultural earthquake in the U.S. by announcing the discontinuation of the beloved Choco Taco. What started as public outrage and a brand crisis quickly turned into triumph, converting online haters to brand lovers.

THE CHALLENGE

Klondike, the cherished American ice cream franchise, faced a tough decision in Summer 2022: to discontinue the beloved Choco Taco. They did not expect the massive wave of outrage that followed, surpassing all expectations — fans, including celebrities, unleashed their fury, trolling Klondike relentlessly on social media.

Among the disappointed, millennials felt the blow the hardest. With their strong attachment to nostalgic snacks, losing Choco Taco hit them right in the feels. 

Within a mere 8 weeks, Klondike needed to win back consumers and salvage their brand from the abyss of relentless hate. They had to prove that the emotional void left by Choco Taco could still be filled by the Klondike brand. It was time to reignite the passion and loyalty of disheartened fans.

THE STRATEGY

Klondike isn't your typical brand, so a generic corporate response wouldn't cut it during this reputation crisis. With fans willing to go to extreme lengths for a Klondike (remember the 'What Would You Do For a Klondike?' challenge?), the brand's reaction had to embody their spirit and bring fans together once more.

The Choco Taco devotees were part of the Klondike family, publicly mourning the loss of their beloved treat. That's when the brilliant strategy emerged – honoring their grief and giving them a space to say goodbye as a united community.

Enter "Rest In Peace Choco Taco," a heartfelt farewell tour to give the iconic treat and its passionate fans the send-off they truly deserved. It was a moment to cherish and remember, sealing Choco Taco's place in ice cream history.

THE EXECUTION

Klondike's iconic jingle, 'What would you do for a Klondike,' became 'What should we do with the remaining 912 Choco Tacos?' They engaged fans on Twitter and Instagram, backed by a paid media partner, generating 2,000+ responses.

The three-week Farewell Tour took Choco Tacos to Savannah, Georgia, and Death Valley, but the standout suggestion was to "shove them where the sun don't shine." So, Klondike delivered in Bellingham, Washington, the least sunny U.S. city.

Fans nationwide participated through an Instagram scavenger hunt. Klondike's funny, personal, and unexpected responses resonated with fans, bridging the gap with creativity.

The Outcome

Klondike's transformation into a supportive ally reminded fans of their love for the brand beyond Choco Taco. The essence of what made Choco Taco special still lived within Klondike, making the brand the true hero. At the crisis's core, positive sentiment towards Klondike stood at a mere 7%. However, through the campaign, it skyrocketed 14 times to reach 100% positive sentiment. Remarkably, months later, commercial success thrived even without Choco Tacos in sight.

impressions

earned placements in mainstream media outlets

sales increase in Q3 compared with the previous year