NEW YORK Cold Stone Creamery looks to make consumers crave its premium ice cream with four new TV ads breaking March 9.
The high-end ice cream chain is targeting affluent women 18 to 44 with the new campaign that touts the many combinations they can create using its various ice creams and toppings. “Millions of combinations mean you can change your mind as often as you like . . . Cold Stone Creamery . . . Create your own mix,” says a voiceover.
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One spot touts its cake business, which is a growing segment for Cold Stone.
“This campaign is about cravability, showing our products and the ability to customize the ice cream,” said Suzanne Schutz, senior director of marketing at Cold Stone Creamery, Scottsdale, Ariz. “Our goal is to increase traffic in Cold Stone Creamery stores and build brand awareness.”
Although the chain operates more than 1,300 stores in 50 states, Schutz said there are pockets in some markets where brand awareness is low. She hopes that will change with the help of the new campaign. Supporting online ads break in June.
The ice cream segment has been flat the past few years except for premium chains like Cold Stone Creamery, Marble Slab Creamery and Maggie Moo, per Technomic, Chicago.
Cold Stone, which was acquired by Kahala, Scottsdale, Ariz., in May 2007, has halted its aggressive expansion plan. The chain plans to open about 75 stores per year, down from highs of 325 units per year.
This new ad campaign is Cold Stone’s second foray into TV. The previous campaign, which ran last year, was all about the store experience. Cold Stone Creamery is known for its outgoing “crewmembers” that have been known to break out into song.
“[The TV campaign] is a smart move. Ice cream is an impulse buy, so the thought needs to be put into consumers’ minds,” said Darren Tristano, evp of Technomic.
Cold Stone doubled its ad spend last year to $5.4 million, per Nielsen Monitor-Plus. This year the budget will grow 5 percent, per Schutz.