Imagine that National Ice Cream Day is your brand’s version of the Super Bowl, and you’ve relied heavily for years on high-touch activities like handing out samples to hype your product in July and beyond.
That’s the reality for Russell Barnett, L.A. Brand Stars honoree and CMO of fast-growing My/Mo Mochi. The brand’s team had to shift gears from experiential marketing to digital programs in light of the public health crisis caused by Covid-19.
For its key summer effort, the company has launched the pun-filled My/Mo Mochi Chompionship Games, where anyone who participates can win free ice cream, and nonagenarian internet star Baddiewinkle serves as master of “ceremochi.”
No athletic skills are required, even though there’s an Olympics overtone to the program. Players can use everyday household items for the various daily challenges, which have names like Yumnastics and Melty Moves.
Consumers can tag the brand on TikTok and Instagram for a chance to win My/Mo product—100,000 sweet rice dough-covered ice cream treats will be awarded, with one person winning a year’s supply of the frozen novelties.
It’s a fairly sharp pivot from last year’s marketing around the ice cream holiday, centered on pop-up shops doling out free My/Mo Mochi in Uniqlo stores in cities like San Francisco, Boston, New York and Washington D.C.
The Chompionship Games, which culminate on Sunday, bring to life My/Mo’s brand personality, which Barnett describes as “fun and joyful.”
“Play is our purpose,” he told Adweek. “We want to give people some levity and escape right now.”
With that in mind, Barnett kept it simple and intentionally “low-fi,” he said. “The point is to give consumers a reward just for engaging, to be respectful of their time, to be empathetic, to consider everyone’s mental health. We’re just facilitating a good time.”
To spread the word, My/Mo launched a social campaign from London-based agency Lovers that “couldn’t be more on brand,” Barnett said of the bright and wacky posts. “They make perfect sense, but they make no sense. That’s been our whole positioning from the start.”
In a statement announcing the promo, the 92-year-old Baddiewinkle doubled down on that concept. “Acting your age is overrated,” she said. “Let’s be colorful, and weird and play this summer.”
Los Angeles-based My/Mo Mochi, declared an essential business and operating at full capacity since the pandemic hit in March, isn’t the only brand in the category to take a light-hearted approach.
Blue Bunny has given away inflatable pools, complete with built-in ice cream holders and swag like sports apparel, gas cards and cooking classes to consumers holding now-worthless tickets to canceled summer events.