Friendly’s Imagines ‘Ice Cream World’

BOSTON In its first major push for Friendly’s Ice Cream since winning the chain’s ad account last December, Omnicom’s Zimmerman Advertising this week breaks a multimedia campaign set in an “Ice Cream World.”

A TV spot combines live action and animation for a musical tour of a land where sunflowers and dragonflies are made of ice cream and banana-split boats sail down chocolate rivers. The tagline is: “Friendly’s. Where ice cream makes the meal.”

“Friendly’s is a brand that must be re-invigorated,” said Michael Goldberg, evp, CMO at Zimmerman in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. “At its very core, even with competitive pressure coming from every angle, ice cream is who they are and what they do. Our goal was to show how an ice cream experience truly connects for the company — that is, ice cream connects desserts to meals and people to each other.”

Print, digital, radio, mobile billboards, cinema, direct mail, promotional events, sampling and local market promos are also in the mix.

Spending was not disclosed. The client in Wilbraham, Mass., has done little media advertising in recent years. Earlier in the decade, its annual media outlays were in the $15-20 million range.

The company was purchased in August 2007 by an affiliate of Sun Capital Partners in Boca Raton, Fla., in a deal valued at $337 million. Sun Capital also operates other restaurant chains including Bruegger’s and Souper Salad.

The Friendly’s chain, which has been in operation for 73 years, has 515-plus owned or franchised locations and also sells its ice cream in 4,000 supermarkets and other retail locations nationwide.