Blue Bunny Wants to Bring Some Sunshine to This Abnormal Summer

The ice cream brand is bringing a little needed levity

Photo of an inflatable pool, ice cream and Blue Bunny
Ice cream sales as a category have been up 26% throughout the pandemic. Blue Bunny
Headshot of Paul Hiebert

Key insight:

Due to the pandemic, the summer of 2020 has turned into a season of stress and canceled plans.

Attempting to tap into the current moment and provide a little levity, ice cream brand Blue Bunny has teamed up with experiential agency FCBX to debut a ticket exchange where disappointed consumers can upload images of receipts for canceled or postponed events for a chance to win prizes. These prizes, which are awarded randomly, include suitcases, cooking classes and gift cards for gas, streaming services and sports apparel. A few lucky contestants will receive larger packages valued at $1,000 related to music, sports, travel or leisure.

“It is very important to us that Blue Bunny’s marketing and PR efforts feel relevant to what adults are facing today—and this summer is unlike any other,” said Jamee Pearlstein, director of brand marketing at Blue Bunny.

Blue Bunny is pushing the campaign on its owned social channels, such as Facebook and Instagram.

This campaign comes on the heels of another aimed at addressing this atypical summer. In late June, Blue Bunny began giving away 100 personal inflatable pools, noting that people probably won’t be doing much swimming in public pools in the coming months. Each Blue Bunny pool comes with a little slot designed to hold an ice cream treat. More than 20,000 people entered to win one of the pools, according to the company.

Blue Bunny

With Covid-19 cases on the rise and people still hesitant to venture too far from home, inflatable pools seem to be a popular option for consumers wanting to keep cool during the hot days of summer.

In May, sun care brand Banana Boat debuted an ad campaign called #ProtectTheFun. Prior to release, a 15-second spot was recut to remove footage of people at an amusement park and focus instead on people enjoying the great outdoors closer to home, such as in the backyard. It also features an inflatable pool.

Similar to other packaged-food items, ice cream has also fared well since the outbreak. Nielsen figures show that U.S. retail sales of ice cream are up 26% for the 16-week period ending June 20 compared to the same time last year.

“Blue Bunny sales performance is strong this year as consumers are reaching for frozen desserts in the ice cream category as a source of comfort and joy during these difficult times,” said Pearlstein. “We’ve appreciated being able to help in this regard.”

Blue Bunny belongs to the family-owned ice cream manufacturer Wells Enterprises, Inc., which also manages Halo Top. In late June, the light ice cream brand released a body-positive spot with Heat, Deloitte Digital’s agency, featuring a woman dancing unapologetically around her apartment while eating a pint.

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@hiebertpaul Paul Hiebert is a CPG reporter at Adweek, where he focuses on data-driven stories that help illustrate changes in consumer behavior and sentiment.