Intu – Mini Ice Cream Van

03 Aug


Starting at Manchester’s Trafford centre, Intu have revealed the “world’s smallest ice cream van”, which is set to tour the UK this summer after research suggests that ice cream makes people happier… really…


Intu – Mini Ice Cream Van


The Aim

To “make each individual shopping trip a happier, more memorable one.”


What Are They Doing?

Intu, following research that suggests eating ice cream makes people happier, have developed the “world’s smallest ice cream van” to deliver bite-sized chunks of happiness to their centres’ visitors.

The van, measuring just 47 inches long and 39 inches high, with a top speed of 12mph, launched at Manchester’s Trafford Centre 2nd August, with a nationwide tour of 14 Intu shopping centres to come – dishing out free Bradwell’s ice cream as it goes.

The mini ice cream van forms part of Intu’s summer marketing activities which aim to inspire happiness amongst consumers. This comes off the back of research revealing the top 20 things that make people happiest in the summer, one of which is eating ice cream… obviously.

Others highlights from the study include walking barefoot in the grass, taking a trip to the beach, having a BBQ, going on holiday and shopping for your summer wardrobe.

Roger Binks, customer experience director for Intu, said: 

“We’re delighted to have created what we believe is the world’s smallest ice cream van. We work really hard to create experiences that will surprise and delight our 35 million customers and make each individual shopping trip a happier, more memorable one.”

The tour will travel the UK from 2-17 August, stopping off at every intu shopping centre around the country including intu Trafford Centre, intu Lakeside and intu Metrocentre. For more information on when it will be pulling up near you following #NiceCreamVan on Twitter.




Why Do We Like It?

The first thing that stands out about this campaign is that it not a direct promotion, it’s just Intu looking to add value to their customers’ experiences of their shopping centres – this is the jump off point for any successful marketing campaign, offer more than you take.

It’s also nice to see another research-based campaign – whilst it would appear to be obvious that people enjoy eating ice cream in the summer, the study demonstrates a demand for the promotion, something marketers are becoming increasingly reliant upon to secure budgets.

Finally, using an event hashtag gives customers a base-point, from which they can keep up with the tour on social media, is a simple way of attracting extra traffic to Intu’s social channels and generating a buzz around the campaign.


Intu’s mini ice cream van continues a summer full of great activations, if you enjoyed the content, don’t forget to share on social media.

OR, if you’re interested in running your own experiential marketing campaigns, get in touch today.