Magnum and LOLA MullenLowe Made Giant Towels for Social Distancing on the Beach

No one does pleasure quite this big

For Americans, the name "Magnum" brings Trojan's suite of extra-large condoms to mind. But in Europe, Magnum is a Unilever brand. And it's all about bigger, thicker … chocolate-wrapped ice cream on a stick.

Whichever Magnum you grew up snickering over, much sardonic pleasure can be had in this special-edition offering. Unilever's Magnum, the ice cream people, created a line of beach towels that measure 10-by-10 feet, a damn near ludicrous amount of space that nonetheless serves a purpose: safe social distancing in places that have mostly become hotbeds for Covid rule-flouters.

Each towel is made for two people to pleasurably (heh!) social distance, beachside or parkside. They are designed by artists Karan Singh, David Vanadia and Quentin Monge, who drew inspiration from Magnum ice cream's iconic silhouette.

Check out the designs here:

LOLA MullenLowe made this work as Magnum's global lead creative agency. It builds on the brand's #TrueToPleasure campaign, launched alongside activist singer/songwriter Halsey. Here's the hero vid for that:

Halsey X Magnum Ice Cream #TrueToPleasure Film

One thing that makes me quietly giggle about suffering from Magnum brand confusion is that both are so flagrantly about pleasure, and that really leaps out when watching the Halsey video: Those suggestive looks over ice cream, the closing of eyes over a first bite. How do you not think about the giant condom brand, too?

This funny cognitive relationship also underlines how often ice cream ads revolve around sin and sex historically. Magnum, for example, markets itself as "the first premium adult ice cream" since 1989. That hasn't stopped other brands from trying to embody debauched dessert. Cases in point:

Häagen-Dazs' steamy ice cream ad, which ran in the U.K. around 1992, features a couple involved in some super messy foreplay.

And this Breyers Gelato Indulgences ad ran in the U.S. around 2014. It's chaster, but the principle is the same—a couple waits for their kid to sleep before indulging in an adult pastime, with some awkward backpedaling when he catches them in the act. 

If you're into the towels, you'll soon be able to order one at Think creatively: Sure, summer's nearly over, but come fall, you can use yours as a bedspread (at which time we earnestly pray for a cross-Atlantic Magnum brand collab).


Creative Agency: LOLA MullenLowe
Client: Magnum (Unilever)
Global Vice President, Unilever: Julien Barraux
Global Brand Director, Magnum: Ben Curtis
Global Brand Manager: Tugce Aksoy
Global Assistant Brand Manager: Rosie Festus
Executive Creative Director: Tomás Ostiglia
Creative Director: Kevin Cabuli, Jorge Zacher
Brand Creative Lead: María García Campos
Creative team: Manuel Castillo, Enrique Torguet
Global Business Director: Tom Elliston
Account Supervisor: Flora Bell
Head of Planning: Lucas Rodriguez
Head of Production: Felipe Calviño
Producer: Diego Baltazar, Jorge Saade
Artists: Karan Singh, David Vanadia, Quentin Monge

Angela Natividad
Angela Natividad is the European markets editor at Muse by Clio. She also writes about gaming and fashion, and whatever else she's interested in, really. She's based in Paris and North Italy, so if you're local, say hi. She might eat all your food.

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