Advertising by way of a bus tour can be an effective way to build brand awareness, an expert says, after Cold Rock Ice Creamery signed up as a sponsor for the Ice Cream Truck of Love tour.
Founded by Adrian Fernand, the Ice Cream Truck of Love tour will see a truck drive around the country handing out free ice cream in a bid to raise awareness of gay marriage.
“Our aim is to send our truck around the country offering ice cream and positive support of marriage equality, all with a simple message: everyone deserves the opportunity to marry the person they love, no matter the flavor,” the website says.
Cold Rock chief executive Stan Gordon told Franchising the company is “thrilled” to support the cause, agreeing to a $5,000 naming rights sponsorship, and donating ice cream and materials.
According to Brian Walker, managing director of The Retail Doctor Group, a bus tour is “quite a novel way of doing things, particularly when there’s a really good, nice, strong message”.
“Where it’s a bit quirky, it can be a bit of fun – it can add a bit of a fun element to the brand… It’s particularly effective around events and communities,” Walker told StartupSmart.
“But like all these things, it can be overdone. You’ve got to use it very selectively and very creatively.”
Here are two more “road trip” campaigns:
Coca Cola – Happiness Truck
Last year, Coca Cola ran an international campaign as a sequel to its Happiness Machine video, which received three million views.
The Coca Cola Happiness Truck, which aimed to spread happiness in major cities, gave out free drinks, soccer balls, T-shirts and other goodies to anyone who pressed a button on the truck.
Coca-Cola also hired major label bands and musicians to perform wherever the truck stopped, creating a sort of street party.
Ben & Jerry’s – Rock the Vote
Ice cream chain Ben & Jerry’s hosted an event in the US called Rock the Vote, in a bid to promote music, ice cream and political awareness.
“Our goal is to register Vermonters, especially young people, educate them on the issues and inspire them to vote,” Ben & Jerry’s said in a statement.
“Ben & Jerry’s partnered with Rock the Vote to create Primary Berry Graham, the new Rock the Vote flavour.”
“We’re hitting the campaign trail with [Rock the Vote] to make sure a new generation of voters get to the polls.”
“Ben & Jerry’s employees will… travel to events around the state, sampling Primary Berry Graham ice cream and registering voters at events.”