Klondike positioned as a real man’s ice cream

Sports, masculinity and...ice cream? The three go well together says Charles Perez, the director of marketing at Good Humor-Breyers.

Sports, masculinity and…ice cream? The three go well together says Charles Perez, the director of marketing at Good Humor-Breyers.

The ice cream and frozen novelty company found young men ages 16 to 24 were consuming more Klondike ice cream products than any other demographic. Because of this, young men are the focus of a new Klondike ad campaign for the Raptors Insider, a magazine given to visitors at the Air Canada Centre.

‘The essence of the campaign is ‘Eat large. Live large,” Perez explains. ‘Our target audience sees life like an all-you-can-eat, all-day buffet. Males don’t seem to really care what time of the day it is, if they are hungry, they will snack.’

To build on this idea, Toronto-based advertising agency MacLaren McCann created four possible magazine advertisements. Good Humor-Breyers, which had originally planned for one instalment, liked all the choices and decided to alternate them during the five-month campaign which began Dec. 2 and will run until April.

‘We wanted to do something different,’ David Douglas, art director at MacLaren McCann says. ‘We didn’t want to use a sports-related theme because of the publication. It just wouldn’t stand out. So we used the idea that the product is a gut-full and worked with things that were considered manly. It was our chance to have some fun.’

The first ad pictured a man’s chest with a pudgy belly, and insinuated that a Klondike treat – or two – would satisfy his hunger. Two other instalments, which run in February and March consecutively, portray the snacks in typical handyman scenarios involving macho power tools.

A fourth ad was also created for the campaign, but Perez says it has yet to be determined whether the placement will run in the Raptors Insider. It features a half-eaten ice cream cone on the top of a bar with empty beer glasses in the background.

‘The only reason we are reconsidering is because we want to make sure that fits with our target in the Air Canada Centre,’ Perez says. ‘It would be viewed by some younger males and we don’t want to make a statement about alcohol.’

Steven Blair, CD at MacLaren McCann, says the ads work because they are funny and simple, and the dark-coloured photography adds to the presentation.

‘It’s very masculine photography showing icons of masculinity with headlines that are almost masculine clichés,’ he remarks. ‘We could keep the campaign going forever. The thing that I think is smart about this campaign is that it deals with masculinity but it does it tongue-in-cheek rather than going the Marlboro [cigarette] route. We don’t take ourselves too seriously. It is ice cream.’

Klondike, a brand sold in the United States for more than 40 years, was only launched in Canada in 1999. One purpose of the campaign was to convey the number of Klondike products to the consumer. Customers tend to think of only cones when they think of Klondike ice cream, but the brand also offers ice cream bars, sandwiches and stick bars. The magazine spots showcase the Klondike product variety.

MacLaren McCann designed the launch of the Klondike brand in 1999 with the ‘What Would You Do for a Klondike?’ television ad. The campaign was well received and brand recognition tested strongly. It did so well that in 2001 Klondike’s market share almost tied with competitor Drumstick.

The Air Canada Centre, with its affluent and mostly male audience, was the perfect choice for the company trying to target men. The ads are only in the magazine for now but when the Air Canada Centre studies the results at the end of the year, Perez says, Good Humor-Breyers will decide whether it should expand its advertising to other areas of the centre or even to other venues.