Youtube VideoIt may be the new kid on the ice block, but Tip Top's campaign for the Ice Bar Co., which was created by Colenso BBDO, overshadowed the rest of the competition to win the November round of Colmar Brunton's Ad Impact Award. And, judging by sales, the products are proving popular with the slightly wrinklier target market.
Youtube VideoNatacha Clark, Ice Bar Co.'s brand manager, says the idea to create an ice block for adults had been talked about at Tip Top for a long time. But it needed to ensure there would be a market for them before going ahead with it.
"We started conducting qualitative and quantitative consumer research in February 2009, and found that while adults love ice blocks, they wanted more than what was on offer already," she says. "They wanted more interesting flavours, natural ingredients and a brand that spoke directly to them. So, we immediately set out to develop a range of ice blocks that would meet these specific demands, and started concept testing to be sure we could meet adult expectations with the new range. We tested many, many flavours before narrowing it down to the launch range of Ginger Beer, Lemon, Lime & Bitters and Old Fashioned Lemonade."
The campaign uses a foodie style, connoting taste and refinement rather than just sun and seaspray in an effort to reach this more mature audience. And, in what could be seen as either savviness or sneakiness, it also tries to create an impression that the products are made by a boutique producer (like this?) when it's actually a subsidiary of the massive beast that is Fonterra Brands (in the about us section of the website, which makes very little reference to the Tip Top connection, it says: "The ‘Co’ in ‘THE ICEBAR CO’ stands for ‘Collective’. We’re just a group of people who collectively thought that it was about time Ice Blocks grew up. Simple as that.").
"Gearing the range towards adults meant that the product had to deliver what an adult would consider the ultimate ice block for them and meet their expectations," says Clark. "We focused on developing and designing the packaging around what our research said people were looking for the most – exciting adult flavours. All our advertising and marketing focused on telling the story of the brand and the lengths we went to creating this range of ice blocks. We wanted to convey the time we spent developing exciting flavours that would appeal to adults, our chef-designed recipes, New Zealand grown fruit and the all-natural, quality ingredients. They were all part of the story."
Youtube VideoSenior account manager at Colmar Brunton Harriet Dixon says it’s one of those nice simple campaigns that’s really clear about what’s on offer and it's all wrapped up with a bit of humour.
“The ad has a distinctive creative style, which hammers home its unique point of difference in a crowded market," says Dixon. "Consumers just can’t wait to try it.”
Colenso's senior account director Saya Tran called the campaign “very successful”, noting that some flavours had completely sold out in areas over summer. And, luckily for the adult fans keen to keep a stash in the freezer at home, the agency has come up with a solution to the age-old problem of iceblock theft: the camouflaged pea bag.