Heartbreak Ice Cream

Elena's Helados

Issue 60 | September 2021


VMLY&R Commerce Mexico/ Cleveland

Creative Team

Global Chief Creative Officer Manuel Borde Regional Executive Creative Director (Mexico) Juan Jose Posada Executive Creative Directors (Mexico) Adriano Lombardi, Pedro Mayorga Creative Director (Cleveland) Tomas Lavagno Associate Creative Directors (Cleveland) Sebastian Cuevas, David Pinilla

Production Team

Growth and Operation Manager Ines Sologuren Motion & Content Designer Lucas Pimenta


April 2021


When Mexico was hit by the pandemic, Elena's Helados had no choice but to close its stores. With no retail presence, the brand needed an innovative way of activating Elena's digital and e-commerce channels to keep customers engaged and the business moving.


People always turn to ice cream when going through a breakup. The idea, then, was to create a special-edition ice cream that divided every pint into the five emotional stages of heartbreak to help guide people through the healing process as they ate their way through the tub.

At each stage there was a new flavour to help consumers feel better. As well as competitions with prizes to help overcome specific emotions, more content including advice and professional assistance featured on a microsite to drive deeper engagement beyond the purchase.


Transforming a regular ice cream tub into an amazing journey added value to the consumer experience and boosted e-commerce sales to such an extent they are now Elena’s main source of income. Visits to the website increased 230%. The first run of Heartbreak Ice Creams sold out in under a week. There was an increase in sales of other ice creams of 160%.

Our Thoughts

As the agency has pointed out, this brilliant idea can be recycled regularly. In the days after St. Valentine’s Day, for instance. Writer David McCandless analysed Facebook data to show that couples are most likely to break up just after February 14th and a couple of weeks before Christmas. Curiously, bust-ups seem to be more frequent on Mondays in April and early May than on other days. In other words, data-driven ads could help this campaign become even more effective.

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