Halo Top gave drivers ice cream without leaving the car

The buzzy brand tapped into captive gridlock audiences ahead of the first long weekend of the summer.

Halo Top celebrated the May long weekend with a two city ice cream giveaway to give back to Canadian fans.

The brand gave away 10,000 pints in a variety of dairy and non-dairy flavours in Toronto and Vancouver at drive-thru locations that were also accessible to cyclists and pedestrians.

According to Halo Top president and COO Doug Bouton, Canada was the most requested market for international expansion when the U.S.-based brand first launched here last year, and it wanted to engage fans in a way that was genuine.

“We definitely wanted to put our little twist on standard giveaways,” according to Bouton. He tells strategy that the brand is targeting consumers who “hate traffic and want to make their commute sweeter” on the day before the Victoria Day long weekend, when the unofficial start of summer puts ice cream top of mind and many commuters hit gridlock in their rush for the first getaway of the season. He adds that Halo Top doesn’t generally do samplings, but when it does, it wants to make sure that they are unique and fun.

The pop-up drive-through locations were set up near Toronto’s Union Station and Vancouver’s BC Place, highly travelled routes “where hitting traffic is inevitable “. It partnered with navigation app Waze to determine the ideal locales for the pop-ups. An online version of the pop-up was set up for those who could not go in person, with the first 5,000 Canadians to “pass” through receiving a coupon for a free pint of Halo Top.

Halo Top works with agencies 72andSunny in the U.S. and Harbinger in Canada.