Tip Top backs the ice cream truck up, banishes the taste of science with launch of all-natural range

Prior to the launch of Tip Top’s brand platform ‘Feel Tip Top‘ around one year ago, Colenso BBDO’s Nick Garrett said the Fonterra-owned company had been in something of a holding pattern as it dealt with various business issues like distribution and supplying a couple of key product ranges. Once it had that sorted, it travelled around the country delivering a dose of the feelgoods to Kiwis. And now it’s promoting the fact that, as of January, it’s entire range of over 120 ice creams will only feature natural colours and ingredients. 

Back in the 1950s and 60s, artificial colours and flavours became popular. It was a good time for food manufacturers, because it made all sorts of fantastic food variants possible. Tip Top was no exception and it created some ‘groovy’ flavours. But times have changed and, due to the growing concern around the ingredients used in industrialised food production—as well as growing respect for companies that use science to come up with natural, elegant and more healthy solutions—Tip Top embarked on a mission to find the closest matching natural replacements in taste and colour.

“Tip Top has been around for more than 75 years now and listening to our loyal consumers has always been a focus for us. We don’t just listen to them; we look to initiate change that takes their opinions into account, so we decided the time was right for Tip Top to remove artificial colours and flavours from more than 120 of our ice creams,” says Minna Reinikkala, group marketing manager of Tip Top.

Doing this took more than two years of taste testing, sampling and research. And when consumers are so sensitive to change, it was a tough job. Maintaining the raspberry taste of the jelly in a Jelly Tip or the green of Goody Goody Gumdrops was critically important to Tip Top, so its ideal outcome was that customers didn’t actually notice the difference.

“This is a great story of a brand doing something not because they have to, but just because it’s what their fans want,” says Steve Cochran, executive creative director of Colenso BBDO says. “We decided to simply tell it … Old-school, hand-drawn animation seemed the ideal way to bring to life the story of going back to nature for colours and flavours.”

With the help of Assembly, Colenso created a 45 second animated film with a 15 second cut down.

“The animated TVC is a delightful way to tell everyone about our journey of going back to nature over the last two years and we’re excited to see it launch after all the hard work,” says Reinikkala. 

The campaign is supported with Adshels, digital banners and some key grocery activations and events over the summer (Tip Top has also been pushing its ‘Natural Talent‘ through the New Zealand’s Got Talent sponsorship). Consumers can find out more via the brand’s Facebook page

Tip Top ice creams with natural colours and flavours have already begun to appear in stores and by January the entire reformulated range will be in market.


Agency: Colenso BBDO

Creative Directors: Steve Cochran, Mike Davison

Planning: Sue Gill

Account Team: Lisa Walton, Eddie Thomas

Agency Producer: Jen Storey

Media Agency: OMD

Production Company: Assembly

Clients: Minna Reinikkala (Group Marketing Manager), Craig Griffin (Senior Brand Manager)

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