Hudsonville Ice Cream Creates New Flavor of Detroit

Identity expanded the brand’s presence in metro Detroit through a long-term campaign resulting in a new Limited Edition flavor—Comeback Cooler

Our Approach

Hudsonville Ice Cream has been a beloved Michigan company, crafting creative and delicious ice cream flavors since 1926. As this family-owned ice cream maker looked to reach beyond their fans in West Michigan to the Detroit market, they enlisted Identity’s help to identify the best way to connect with ice cream lovers in Southeast Michigan.

Identity outlined an integrated strategy to reach those ice cream fans, utilizing high impact media and social media exposure to build excitement around Hudsonville Ice Cream’s innovation in flavor development. The goals were three-fold: Launch an integrated communications plan supported through media outreach, social advertising and influencer relations to build brand awareness and influence product sales at key retailers; expand the brand’s digital presence, increase the volume of online conversations and grow the Facebook community size; and strengthen relationships with Detroit media, content creators and influencers/bloggers.

To achieve these goals, Identity and Hudsonville Ice Cream charted a course to take ice cream fans from their suggested flavor concepts through the creation process, all the way to the ability to purchase a new Detroit-centric flavor later in the year. Not only would the winning entry be made into a flavor sold on grocery store shelves, but the person who suggested the flavor would win a year’s supply of ice cream.

The Flavor of Detroit contest officially launched at the end of April, immediately garnering the attention of local media outlets who helped spread the word as Hudsonville Ice Cream sought ideas for a flavor that would capture the spirit of Detroit. In addition to drafting a press release announcement that led to placements in Crain’s Detroit Business, MLive, Detroit News and Detroit Free Press, among others, Identity also developed talking points for the contest, which were utilized during an in-studio segment with WXYZ.

Identity navigated paid radio advertising buys with two local radio stations throughout the month of May to announce details of the contest. A social ad campaign was also utilized to inspire entries from across the state, and local influencers promoted the contest through more than 100 digital posts.

When the winning flavor was set to be announced, Identity assisted Hudsonville Ice Cream in planning an event, inviting local influencers and members of the media to spread the word about the winning flavor. In addition to streaming the announcement on Facebook Live, Identity also coordinated an exclusive story with Crain’s Detroit Business, set to publish online at the same time as the official announcement, and secured an interview for the winner the following morning on WXYZ.

The final touchpoint of the Flavor of Detroit campaign was sharing the availability of Comeback Cooler in grocery stores. Again capitalizing on media relationships and interest in this Michigan-based company, Identity shared the news through print, digital and broadcast mediums to reach an audience of 26 million people. Additionally, the social ad campaign for Comeback Cooler earned 5,273 engagements from more than 4,300 people, for an above average engagement rate of 12.6 percent. This integrated approach led to greater demand for Hudsonville Ice Cream throughout metro Detroit, setting the stage for the region to become the most engaged online audience for the brand for the entire year.

What We Did

Identity deployed the following strategies and tactics in order to achieve success:

  • Media Relations & Marketing

    • Strategy and Execution
    • Media Relations Outreach
    • Marketing
    • Event Coordination
    • Core Message Development
  • Social Media

    • Community Management
    • Contest Development
    • Blogger and Influencer Relations
    • Social Advertising

Highlights

  • 62+media mentions in broadcast TV, print and digital media outlets
  • 2,500+contest entries
  • 17K+engagements earned through social advertising