Industry News | August 12, 2008

Cold Stone Launches New Contest

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Today, Cold Stone Creamery launched iMix America Ice Cream Creation Contest, an interactive contest engaging high school students nationwide.

From April 27 to June 16, applications were accepted at www.iMixAmerica.com from students currently attending high school and within close proximity to any of the brand’s nearly 1,400 domestic stores. Applicants were recruited through the social networking sites MySpace and facebook, as well as point-of-sale signage in Cold Stone Creamery locations nationwide.

Of the 9,476 students that applied from all 50 states, Guam, and Puerto Rico, 1,000 were chosen to become iMix America contestants based on their answers to the application questionnaire which evaluates the individual’s ability to market his custom ice cream Creation. The advancing contestants were then asked to register their custom Creation on the contest Web site where they can access tools to promote the purchase of their Creation through their social networks.

Any guest who orders an iMix America Creation will be given a unique voting code which they can use to vote online at www.iMixAmerica.com. Based on the number of votes their signature Creation receives, contestants will progress through three competitive field-reducing brackets over five months ending December 31, 2008. Voting for first bracket of the competition runs from August 11 through September 30.

The grand prize package, worth $30,000, includes automotive, travel, electronics, and cellular products and services which will be awarded in January 2009 at the Cold Stone Creamery headquarters in Scottsdale, Arizona.

"We wanted to create an intriguing contest that would engage Generation Y and expose new people to our super-premium ice cream," says Dan Beem, president of Cold Stone Creamery. “The iMix America contest highlights the imaginative nature of the brand known for its endless options and possibilities while also allowing Generation Y to mix their own creation.”

Generation Y, otherwise known as the MySpace generation, is typically a difficult demographic for marketers to reach through traditional advertising. Young adults in this group between the ages of 15 and 24 years old spend 242 minutes on average per month on MySpace alone. By creating a contest that is promoted through social networking sites, Cold Stone Creamery has the potential to tap into this tech-savvy generation that makes up a large portion of the brand’s customer and crew member population.