Barclaycard – Contactless Ice-Cream Van

01 Sep
Every week, EventStream brings you creative experiential marketing campaigns from the world’s biggest and best brands. We like to go behind the curtain, explaining the tactics and reasoning behind each campaign – today, we’re looking at Barclaycard’s latest experiential activation, the contactless ice-cream van…In response to research that has found 40% of Brits choose not to buy ice-cream from vans to avoid long queues, Barclaycard are trialing a cutting edge solution to the problem: a contactless, self-service ice-cream van, with a serve time of less than 60 seconds.


Barclaycard – Contactless Ice-Cream Van


The Aim

To trial a new, unique way of optimising the classic ice-cream van experience.



What Are They Doing?

According to Barclaycard, their research suggests that 40% of British people are put off buying ice-cream from vans due to long queues – enter the contactless ice-cream van. The bank has developed a state-of-the-art self-service ice-cream van that accepts contactless payments from customers.

The campaign named “cone-tactless” aims to revolutionise the experience of buying ice-cream by incorporating contactless technology into a cash-based service. In terms of functionality, the service is simple: customers choose their ice cream via touch-screen, touch their contactless card to the reader, pull and enjoy their fresh ice-cream.

The van has two queues, meaning those who want a simple vanilla cone can have one in under 60 seconds, leaving the vendor free to take more complex orders.

Barclaycard claim the technology will reduce wait times by almost 8 minutes!

The current iteration is a prototype, currently being trialed in celebration of the 10th anniversary of Barclaycard offering contactless payments – depending on the success, contactless ice-cream vans could be the first in a new wave of revolutionised transactions typically made by cash.


Tami Hargreaves, director of innovation and partnerships at Barclaycard Mobile Payments, said:

“Ice-cream vans have long been a real staple of British summertime and to mark the 10th anniversary of introducing contactless to the UK, we wanted to celebrate this popular tradition with a prototype that gives it a modern makeover.”


Why Do We Like It?

There are many similarities between this campaign and More Than’s Pet Paws-port Booth, the first of which is that the innovation based on research – as we mentioned in that article, research-backed campaigns target a proven pain-point, a perfect justification for garnering c-suite buy-in.

In essence, the target audience for a bank is anyone with money… give or take. The “Cone-tactless” ice-cream van is a clever indirect promotion of the brand’s products and services by using them to fix a problem not typical associated with banking and finance, but that everyone can relate to, improving brand affinity.

Given that switching banks is heavily considered decision, small campaigns like this that gradually build the public’s perception of the Barclaycard brand are the perfect way to remain in the consumer’s mind long-term.

Barclaycard’s contactless ice-cream kisses goodbye to the queues – if you enjoyed this article, please share it with your friends!

Or, if you’re looking to run an experiential activation for your brand, get in touch today, we’re here to help.