Since July is National Ice Cream month, I decided to look into the PR and marketing of ice cream as I reminisce about my personal experiences with my favorite comfort food.
My earliest memory of my enjoyment of ice cream began at five years old. In the warmer days, my mother, grandmother and I would pick up soft serve on the way home and I’d always order the same: vanilla with rainbow sprinkles. Kids from my class would also go to the truck as it was right near the school. As we ate, we socialized. From this memory, I realized that ice cream’s selling point doesn’t only revolve around its taste, but what it means to its community.
At five years old, I didn’t understand the power of public relations or advertising, but I did know when the ice cream truck was coming. The annoying yet sweet jingle always had me turn my head and smile. No other products had a jingle like it, which makes them less memorable or appetizing.
As I grew older, I got more exposure to different kinds of ice cream. When I attended a tennis camp, our counselor would give us fruit flavored ice pops at the end of the day. I’d watch all the campers around me enjoy their ice pops. I seldomly partook because of the overly icy texture and my desire to have something sweet. When I got home, there was a pint of Haagen-Dazs, Breyers or another brand waiting for me. Eating this ice cream was a time to decompress after a long day.
However, ice cream is taking new leaps that I couldn’t envision before. When learning about the new Kraft mac and cheese ice cream, I cringed. I knew this is something that I wouldn’t be trying, even as I’m a fan of both foods (individually). However, many were eager to try this concoction.
In creating the mac and cheese flavored ice cream, Kraft teamed up with Van Leeuwen Ice Cream to launch the product on Jul. 14, which was National Macaroni and Cheese Day. However, even if the new ice cream flavor may not be the best flavorit is a part of a marketing scheme that can lure in new customers. According to TMZ, the mac and cheese ice cream sold out within one hour, selling over 2,000 pints.
Yet it isn’t only flavor combinations that can attract or detract audiences to a brand. Ben and Jerry’s took stances on racial, immigration and other issues for years. It designed the Pecan Resist flavor to show their opposition to former President Donald Trump’s policies. Ben and Jerry’s political beliefs have led some conservatives to boycott the brand.
Things have changed since I started eating ice cream. However, a vanilla cone with rainbow sprinkles will always satisfy my taste buds.
Holly Jenvey is a senior at DePaul University double majoring in public relations & advertising and journalism. She is the vice president of events for DePaul PRSSA and has two journalism internships. In her free time, she loves going on nature drives.