Much Ado About Ice Cream (Paper 4) by Ali Shuart

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“Today, Magnum is one of the world’s leading ice cream brands, selling one billion units annually worldwide…” (magnumicecream.com). I have heard of Magnum ice cream before, but I do not think I had eaten it before I came to London. When we were on the hop-on, hop-off tour on our first full day in the city I saw pink and black banners lining one of the streets in the Oxford Circus area. The signs said “Music. Traffic Free Shopping. Indulgence. Fashion Shows.” These are pretty vague terms, but it is advertising done right because these are all appealing activities. They kept it short and sweet and this is what drew in a crowd. The signs also said the date and time of the event, May 31st on Regent Street. Why not close down one of the busiest streets in London for an afternoon? A week later me and two other girls ventured over to check it out on Sunday afternoon and we were not disappointed. Magnum successfully advertised their event in a simplistic but stylish way to sell their brand in one of the busiest and most fashionable areas of London.

The event was called “The Magnum Pink and Black Party”, and on the website for this event they list all of the events for the day. The stores and restaurants all along Regent Street had various sales and promotions to draw people into their stores while they enjoyed their ice cream. The best part of this whole event was they were handing out free ice cream to promote their two new flavors, Pink Raspberry and Black Espresso. We were not going to wait in line but after we walked past about four of the ice cream stands we decided to stop. They based the whole event on the binary of these two flavors (fruit and chocolate), and I was very torn when I had to decide which one I wanted. Their motto for these two flavors is “Different flavors for different moments.” This is an effective slogan for advertising because it gives people two completely different options depending on their mood. People like having options and Magnum was able to market this by opposing “playful Pink Raspberry” and “sophisticated Black Espresso.” This was also fitting because the event took place on Regent Street, one of the most expensive shopping streets in London. People are intrigued by high-end fashion and Magnum markets their brand as a “fashionable” ice cream. To add to this, there was a catwalk in the middle of the street with models doing shows every hour. This has absolutely nothing to do with ice cream, but people like food and fashion so they brought these two things together to be unique in their branding.

Not only were they successful in marketing their product at the actual event, but also their advertising was what made me come to Regent Street on a rainy Sunday afternoon. The banners hanging up on Regent Street were in the prime location because hundreds of double decker buses and people passed by them everyday. They were hard to miss because of the contrast of the bright pink and black. The Magnum logo was big enough to see, but did not overpower the sign. This was important because it shows they wanted people to see it as more of an event and not just another advertisement to buy something. They use a simplistic word choice, “Music. Traffic Free Shopping. Indulgence. Fashion Shows.”, and this represents their brand. Magnum is “ice cream for adults,” so there is no need to use clever and colorful signs. They want to be sophisticated and succinct in their advertising to convey a sense of wonder and sex appeal. Now, ice cream is not “sexy” but through their utilization of fashion and beautiful models they give it this feeling to attract an older crowd.

When I was looking up this event after the fact I realized the success of it was due in large part to singer and model Mollie King. This link shows the promotional video for Magnum Pink and Black ice cream with King. Using celebrities for marketing is very popular because it makes people feel like they have some sort of connection to the celebrity if they use or consume the same product. It also gives people a way to identify a brand or product if they can put a famous face with it, which makes it memorable. King was the face of the advertising campaign for Magnum Pink and Black, and she made an appearance at the event on Regent Street. This drew a lot of publicity and most of the reviews involved her fashion choice and what she did while she was there. Magnum again used the concept of “sex sells” with Mollie King. She was not advertised on the signs though, and this was important because it gave her appearance an element of surprise. People did not go in to the event expecting to see her, but if they did then it was a bonus.

The Magnum Pink and Black party was just one instance of advertising that caught my eye because of how successful the event was. I did not buy anything but just had fun walking up and down Regent Street with music playing, free ice cream, and fashion shows. Now whenever I see Magnum ice cream I will think of this event, so clearly their marketing was effective. These spontaneous afternoons are the ones I will remember. London is an amazing city, and I am sad to leave here tomorrow. I learned so much about mass media just from simply walking down the street. This trip taught me more about media then I could ever learn in a classroom and being able to compare it to the U.S. is valuable. I had a new adventure everyday and it was the experience of a lifetime. I got to meet some very influential people in the media industry and I will value these interactions for the rest of my life. It has been fun London, until next time.

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