Halo Top is keeping kids away from its ice cream in its first national TV campaign declaring that the low-calorie, high-protein product is "ice cream for adults."
Whenever children head to a Halo Top truck in the commercials, the ice cream guy dishes out sardonic life advice instead of the sweet stuff. His pints are reserved as rewards for adults, including a former contestant on "The Bachelor," trying to get through the stresses of being grownups. In each of the spots, pressures of adulthood such as love, work and mortgage payments seemingly melt away when one is given a 280-calorie pint of Halo Top.
In the "Love" spot set to air during Tuesday night's episode of "The Bachelor," kids are told their cute coupledom doesn't mean they'll get ice cream. What will? "Realizing love is an illusion and we all die alone," the ice cream man deadpans. Just then, Nick Viall, a prior contestant on "The Bachelor," approaches the truck. Fans of the show and its spinoffs might be able to guess his take on whether love is worth it.
The "Ice Cream for Adults" ads come from 72andSunny New York.
Another spot showcases the reality of home ownership. "What's a mortgage?" one kid asks. "It's like waterboarding, only you do it to yourself," the forlorn guy getting ice cream replies.
The humor is more mainstream than Halo Top's earlier approaches. At first, Halo Top avoided a traditional media approach, relying on word-of-mouth and social media to spread the word about its lower-calorie ice cream, which tops out at 360 calories per pint. Then, it began facing increased competition and it stepped up its marketing.
In 2017, it ran ads from Red Tettemer O'Connell & Partners featuring an angel versus devil theme in digital spots and followed those up with a 90-second film showing a woman being force-fed vanilla ice cream by a robot. Since then, competition has heated up a bit, with mainstream brands and grocers bringing out somewhat similar products. Halo Top has responded with new products including non-dairy varieties and low-calorie ice cream pops. It also opened its own scoop shops in California.
One of the other spots debuting this week shows a guy whose online dating life isn't going his way.
Another commercial shows a girl who wants ice cream since she finished her homework, who instead gets a lecture about work life. "She looks like she needs it more than you," the ice cream guy tells the girl as he hands her a pint for her mom.