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The Evolution of Summer Marketing Campaigns

Seasonal marketing is a mainstay of the effort for sellers to reach buyers, not limited to gift giving holidays like Christmas and Valentine’s Day, Father’s Day, Mother’s Day, or any other day consumers feel obligated to purchase a gift. Seasonal marketing opportunities also include celebratory holidays like Memorial Day and July Fourth. We’re all familiar with the usual seasonal-related sales campaigns designed to reduce the previous season’s inventories like; winter apparel in February, white goods in January, used cars in April and mattresses in the month of May. The seasonal marketing process is about adjusting marketing campaigns to significant industry-related events that share a specific affinity with the earth’s rotation around the sun.

Summer is upon us, and seasonal campaigns are emerging that are designed to match the temperatures of the season and consumers’ activities. Vacation travel, hospitality, ice cream, backyard cooking, boating, hiking and more are just a few products and services whose sales soar between June and September each year. For summertime players of commerce, miss the window of opportunity and there will be a very cold and dark winter ahead.

Some classic examples of summer-related advertising campaigns are etched in the memories of consumers for generations. First appearing in 1977, Country Time Lemonade commercials portrayed decades of family and friends enjoying the “not too tart, not too sweet” qualities of the “old fashioned” beverage during the rising heat of the ninety-four days of summer. The Country Time campaign reappeared each summer, edited and updated to adjust to the dynamics of time passing and the addition of several new flavors. General Foods ended the iconic campaign in 1997.

AdAge recently released their list of the top five frozen treat campaigns for 2022. Arriving just in time for Memorial Day, the official opening of summer, this year’s campaigns use some timed-tested devices, new digital communication mediums, and updated throw-back techniques.

KIND’s mission is to create a kinder and healthier world; one act, one snack at a time, and they’re setting out across the country this summer in a modern-era ice cream truck to distribute thousands of free KIND Frozen Treat Bars. The new “Better Than Ice Cream” truck is embarking on a ten market tour from New York to Santa Monica, California, in an effort to introduce American consumers to the brand’s non-dairy frozen treat flavors, mint chocolate and almond nut. Founded in 2004 by Daniel Lubetzky, KIND is a not-only-for-profit® company that is committed to using its business as a vehicle for social change.

In contrast, Friendly’s Restaurants is a 87-year-old family restaurant chain currently entrenched in a campaign dedicated to refreshing its brand image after surviving the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic over the past two years. The new series of 15 and 30-second commercials uses humor to remind diners to “Leave room for ice cream”. The ads will air on television and digital media channels and social media platforms throughout the summer.

Häagen-Dazs, perhaps the most chic of ice cream treats, is introducing the City Sweets collection of flavors in an ad that features a New York-style bodega in the Bronx, where the Häagen-Dazs brand originated. The “That’s Dazs” campaign features new flavors like Dulce de Leche Churro, Black & White Cookie, and Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel.

The contrasts in cultural fashions, styles and technology between the marketing campaigns of the past and today’s creations cannot be denied. But one is also struck by the similarities of the fundamental methods and messaging of brand promotion over the decades, indicating that though much has changed, much remains the same. What are some of your favorite summer advertising campaigns for 2022?