When COVID hit, every brand was trying to find a way to help. Baskin-Robbins didn’t have the budget for a huge donation or a :60 “in these uncertain times” commercial. We needed to find our way of helping. At our core, we believe that we are “America’s local ice cream shop,” and so our objective was to celebrate the local communities we have called home for years.
Our specific goals were:
Give back to our communities and customers
Inspire communities across the country to give back with us
Build brand affinity
Baskin-Robbins has always been a place where you can celebrate moments both big and small. Whether it’s a milestone birthday or a little league win, Baskin-Robbins is ready to celebrate. Our strategy flowed directly from this: find unexpected heroes to celebrate during COVID-19.
As the team dug into the work, they uncovered some surprising heroes making a big difference: kids! These kids were doing everything from printing 3D face masks to making “Blessing Bags” for the homeless, taking what may seem like small actions, but making a big impact. Baskin-Robbins knew immediately that these kids deserved to be celebrated, and who better to celebrate them than the brand they love to celebrate with?
We affectionately named our little helpers “Pint-Sized Heroes,” a reflection of both their small size and big impact—and a play on the pints that Baskin-Robbins ice cream comes in. We captured their stories so we could showcase and celebrate their actions across all Baskin-Robbins’ owned channels. But, to make the celebration even sweeter, Baskin-Robbins donated $5,000 to a charity the kids selected to help further drive these Pint-Sized Heroes’ endeavors. Lastly, we all know it’s not a celebration until there’s ice cream involved, so we also gave each Pint-Sized Hero free ice cream for a year!
Once we had launched the Pint-Sized Hero platform, we began calling for nominations of other Pint-Sized Heroes with an overwhelming response from communities across the country. The program has been so successful that Pint-Sized Heroes is now an always-on program supported by Baskin-Robbins, allowing us to continue celebrating kids making big impacts for the foreseeable future.
Since the launch of Pint-Sized Heroes, Baskin-Robbins has already donated $30,000 to charities in local communities on behalf of our Pint-Sized Heroes. We’ve received thousands of submissions nominating other Pint-Sized Heroes, proving that there are some amazing kids in our local communities making big changes in our world.
Additionally, we tested how this non-product-based initiative drove brand affinity during COVID-19 with ACE Metrix. What we found was that not only did we achieve our objective of driving brand affinity, we also saw an uptick in purchase intent, which was an unexpected benefit.
Baskin-Robbins’ Pint-Sized Heroes message was effective in increasing brand perception, with 73% of all viewers reporting an improved perception of Baskin-Robbins; this was 12 points higher than the average COVID-19 ad. *Source: Ace Metrix Study, 2020
After a single viewing, three in five viewers reported increased purchase intent, with second-by-second trace results showing a strong positive impact among Gen Z (ages 16-20) consumers at the mention of Baskin-Robbins’ donation. *Source: Ace Metrix Study, 2020