Ice cream was first advertised in the 1860s and has been in tons of commercials, flyers, and billboards ever since. This advertisement analysis examines three different billboards from three different ice cream companies in 1985.
The first ad is from an ice cream company named Shoep’s. The ad contains several different ice cream cones topped with different flavors and different toppings. The billboard reads “Shoep’s: How Can You Top It?” The ad primarily is being targeted at both adults and children. The billboard would intrigue children as the many different colors and recognizable delicious treats draw them in. The ad is also targeted at adults for a few reasons. The first reason is that adults, specifically parents, are always looking for ways to satisfy all of their different kids taste and preferences. By presenting parents with the idea of being able to customize the cone to be whatever they want, it could intrigue them to choose Shoep’s ice cream over someone else. Parents would have an easier time taking their kids for ice cream if they can all get whatever they want at one place. Adults would also appreciate the play on words in their slogan. The double meaning of “How Can You Top It” is what you can put on top of the ice cream as well as no ice cream is better then Shoep’s. Children would most likely not understand this joke but adults would understand it and maybe it would help to sway them to choose Shoep’s next time they eat ice cream.
Similar to Shoep’s ice cream billboard, Melody Farm’s also advertises to both children and adults. When anyone first looks at the ad, the delectably enormous pile of ice cream that almost seems too big to fit onto the billboard would attract anyone to look at it. However, the advertising to children might no go far beyond this big pile of ice cream scoops. While this could be enough to attract child customers, ice cream without a cone and in a big pile might be confusing for children. Seeing that they are not used to seeing ice cream like this, they might not recognize it, therefore defeating the purpose of the ad. The ad also fails to put the words “ice cream” on the ad, again adding to the potentially unclear advertising to children. However, I believe this ad is extremely successful in advertising to its second audience: adults. While adults will have an easier time understanding what they are looking at, the adjacent pile of fruit and accompanying slogan will also intrigue them. The pile of fruit, which is meant to replicate the pile of ice cream, is there to show the ice cream is flavored naturally with real ingredients. It goes along with the slogan on the billboard that reads “Flavor Filled Naturally”. The combined mouth-watering look of the ice cream as well as the idea of the ice cream being “healthier” then other choices must have been very successful in attracting adult customers.
The final ad, from Barricini, is an ad that reads, “You’ve Never Tried Barricini Ice Cream? Pity”. On the billboard, there is also a single scoop of ice cream in a martini glass next to a pint of the ice cream. It is apparent that the ad is not advertising to children, perhaps even trying to imply their ice cream is not meant for children to be eating. If their goal is to aim their product more for adults who enjoy finer foods, I think they were fairly successful. The martini glass gives their ice cream an added level of sophistication that doesn’t come when you place the scoop in a cone or bowl. Finer foods also seem to have smaller portions. This ad, when compared to the other two, has the least physical ice cream present, with only one visible scoop. Furthermore, this ad lacks a lot of color that is present in the other two ads. The company chose not to use many colors outside of brown, black and white.
Collectively, the ads seem to have a common goal of catching the attention of people driving by their billboard. Shoep’s uses a variety of colors and clever play on words, Melody Farms again uses a lot of color but also try to play on the “healthier” aspect of their ice cream, and Barricini tries to make their ice cream seem classier then others. While all three companies have different methods of getting people’s attention, their goals are similar. It is their hope that by driving past these billboards, the next time someone chooses to eat ice cream, it will be their company that they buy it from.
Barricini. “You’ve Never Tried Barricini Ice Cream? Pity” Advertisement. 1985. Duke University Digital Collection Library. Web. 24 November 2014.
Melody Farms. “Melody Farms, Flavored Filled Naturally” Advertisement. 1985. Duke University Digital Collection Library. Web. 24 November 2014.
Shoep’s. “Shoep’s: How Can You Top It?” Advertisement. 1985. Duke University Digital Collection Library. Web. 24 November 2014.