How Ice Cream Brands are Keeping Consumers Engaged this Summer

While the summer of 2020 bears little resemblance to previous ones here in America, one thing hasn’t changed: demand for ice cream. In fact, according to Nielsen, U.S. retail sales of ice cream were up 26% YoY for the 16-period week that ended 6/20.

Sure, consumers are spending more time at home, but they’re still craving the comfort of seasonal treats like ice cream. With July serving as National Ice Cream Month and July 21st being National Ice Cream Day, brands are doing their best to engage fans despite the complications brought on by the pandemic. Below, we take a look at their efforts.


Blue Bunny Keeps Consumers from Missing Out

Knowing that many Americans are missing out on their concerts, games, and travel this summer, Blue Bunny saw an opportunity to step in. The brand created a ticket exchange for consumers who missed out on an event to upload an image of their ticket receipt for a chance to win prizes. Blue Bunny will be randomly awarding consumers with prizes such as gift cards and cooking classes, while a select few will receive a grand prize valued at $1,000 that is related to music, sports, travel or leisure.

This effort follows a sweepstakes in June during which the brand gave away 100 inflatable pools to consumers who won’t be able to spend time at public pools this summer. Over 20,000 people entered to win a pool – each complete with a slot designed to hold Blue Bunny ice cream treats. In both cases, the brand sought out pain points particular to the pandemic summer and creatively engaged consumers with them in mind.


Ice cream consumption hasn't suffered this summer despite the pandemic


My/Mo Mochi Pivots from In-Person

After a buzzy celebration of National Ice Cream Day in 2019 where the brand hosted in-store pop-ups in Uniqlo stores across the country, My/Mo Mochi was forced to shift gears in 2020. Instead of an in-person experience, the brand created the My/Mo Mochi Chompionship Games. The lighthearted play on the Olympics invites consumers to win free ice cream by participating in themed daily challenges and posting their exploits on TikTok or Instagram. One hundred thousand mochi treats will be awarded, with one person winning a year’s supply of My/Mo Mochi.


Häagen-Dazs Elevates the Drive-In

This summer has marked the resurgence of the drive-in theater, with businesses of all shapes and sizes leveraging the concept to bring socially distant experiences to consumers. In France, Häagen-Dazs has taken that to the next level. The ice cream brand is sponsoring a floating cinema in Paris where consumers will watch a screening of Le Grand Bain on one of 38 boats, with each limited to groups of the same household. Tickets for each boat and for an additional 150 deck chairs on the beach will be drawn randomly.

While the nature of the pandemic continues to complicate the return to in-person experiences, Häagen-Dazs provides a creative blueprint for doing so while keeping consumers’ health and safety at the forefront. If your brand is looking to create engaging consumer experiences during this summer season and beyond, contact us today.




Sources: “Blue Bunny Wants to Bring Some Sunshine to This Abnormal Summer.” Adweek (2020), “This Brand Treats National Ice Cream Day as its Super Bowl.” Adweek (2020), “Häagen Dazs Sponsors Paris Floating Cinema.” Campaign US (2020).

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