Ice cream brands’ summer marketing recipe: A dash of nostalgia with oodles of star power

To beat the summer heat, ice cream brands are taking advantage of the opportunity with a range of marketing strategies, including contests, collaborations, and new flavours. We take a look at how they are connecting with their customers this summer.

Sneha Medda
New Update
ice cream

With temperatures soaring past 40 degrees Celsius in many parts of the country, the Indian Meteorological Department (IMD) predicts a scorching summer ahead. And as the sun beats down on us relentlessly, it seems everyone turns to one product for comfort — Ice cream. 

In supermarkets, quick commerce platforms and local Kirana stores, ice creams have been stocked for consumers to relish. Swiggy has already seen a 43% increase in orders for ice cream since the summer began, and according to reports, ice cream sales are expected to rise 15-20% this year.

For Mother Dairy, this expectation has already turned into a reality. Manish Bandlish, Managing Director, Mother Dairy Fruit and Vegetable Pvt. Ltd. told the media that the brands are expecting a multifold surge in demand for Ice creams, curd and beverages. “Ice creams alone have witnessed a significant rise of 20% in demand in comparison to same period last year,” he said. 

As demand increases and supply needs are met, brands are also ramping up their marketing efforts for summer. From capturing the true essence of the season in their summer campaigns and launching season-specific range of flavours, brands are enticing consumers with refreshing treats to beat the heat. 

And as they roll up their sleeves to go all out this season, we take a look at their summer marketing strategy. 

Setting the right tone for summer

Giving a hint of nostalgia, this year, Amul brought back its long-running ‘Chalo Chalo’ ice cream ad that showcases its wide range of products. In true Amul style, the ad has a summer hue to it, with floral backgrounds and pastel colours. The ad has multiple scenarios like a couple on a date, old people enjoying the weather, kids on vacation and teenagers watching a movie showcasing people from all age groups consuming its products. 

Following this, the brand released another ad that takes a dig at its competitors by calling their product ‘frozen desserts’. The ad asks users to check for the words ‘real ice cream’ printed on the packs and the caption reads — ‘Always remember, Ice Cream khane se pehle, pack par Ice Cream word check karein.’

Prominent in the South of India, Milky Mist Dairy’s summer ad is a splash of vibrant and summery colours. The ad shows young people dancing to upbeat music while showcasing its products. The TVC is dubbed in Tamil, Telegu, Malayalam and Kannada. 

While other brands are playing with summer themes and colours, Cornetto India is banking on star power. The brand’s new ad features its brand ambassador Alia Bhatt, alongside her Gully Boy co-star Siddhanth Chaturvedi. The ad follows the two as they battle for a Cornetto in the wall of death while Diljit Dosanjh’s Lover plays in the background. 

Meanwhile, Vadilal has launched a series of humorous ads as part of its summer campaign. These ads aim to highlight how significant moments in life can often be overlooked until Vadilal ice cream makes its appearance. 

In the first ad, a man enthusiastically delivers news of a spaceship's safe landing on Mars to his colleagues. Despite his efforts, they appear disinterested, focused on their tasks. However, when another colleague enters with a tub of Vadilal ice cream and delivers the same news, the atmosphere transforms instantly and the team finally celebrates. 

Similarly, in the second ad, a doctor shares the happy news of a safe delivery with a family, but they seem uninterested. Despite the doctor's attempts to engage them, the family remains unaffected. However, when someone enters with an ice cream cone and delivers the same news, the family's response changes, and they join in the celebration.

Product Launches 

Creating a buzz around their products with ads, ice cream brands have added summer-specific flavours to their menus as well. Mother Dairy is launching 20 new ice cream products this year, the brand told media. 

Similarly, Noto, a homegrown D2C brand collaborated with Fast&Up India to launch a Cranberry Orange flavoured popsicle. 

Apsara Ice Cream is another brand that has launched a range of fruit-flavoured popsicles, naming it Popsicools. 

Baskin Robbins has introduced a range of summer specials. The line of products falls under their ‘Summer edition, Happy vacation’ category. 

In addition to the classic popsicles and refreshing flavours, many brands are capitalizing on another summer favourite — mangoes. Natural Ice Cream and Apsara Ice Cream are leading the charge with dedicated reels and posts showcasing their seasonal mango-inspired flavours.

IPL fever

With IPL getting integrated with summer, brands also tend to leverage the massive marketing platform as part of their mix. This year, quite a few ice cream brands have become official partners for IPL teams. 

To deepen engagement with its audience, NIC Ice Creams, as an official partner of the Mumbai Indians, has launched a series of contests during the IPL season. These contests range from predicting the top-scoring player to guessing the previous year's milestones. Participants have been given an opportunity to win tickets to attend live IPL matches.

Arun Ice Creams, the official partner for Sunrise Hyderabad, has released a TVC showcasing the team's players. They've also launched the 'Arun Ice Cream Creamier League Challenge' contest, featuring an on-ground activation where participants hunt for a specific van in Hyderabad for a chance to win match tickets.

Additionally, the brand is actively sharing live match updates on its social media pages, further engaging fans during the matches.

Similarly, Havmor has been connecting with its audience on social media through IPL-themed contests. 

The brand has also introduced interactive IPL-special packs featuring QR codes. These innovative packs offer consumers the opportunity to win a range of prizes.

From nostalgic ads to star-studded commercials, summer-specific flavours and IPL-themed promotions and contests, ice cream brands are leaving no stone unturned to connect with their audience and enhance the summer experience. 

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